Joshua Lutz writes about his experience:
Holding so tightly onto what I believed was sanity while consumed by fear of depression and schizophrenia prevented me from being fully present to her reality.
My aunt was over recently, and she was telling the story of how I was born in a time of lucidity and love between my parents, when there was a small break in the hysteria and confusion. It was so nice to be in that moment and imagine that sense of clarity in their life. Maybe this is the truth, maybe there was a period when the clouds parted. Maybe not. My dad tells a very different story, and my brothers’ experience is as radically opposing as can be.
Looking back on the family archive for clues to understanding, my role in shaping that story began to evolve from my memory of how it exists into an overwhelming need to change it. Falling deeper into the psychosis, I imagined a time when the past, present, and future collided; a place where the weight of those memories is heaver than reality.
For “Hesitating Beauty,” I wanted to embrace this idea and rest in that place of uncertainty. There is not a declarative bone in my body that knows where the truth lies when it comes to understanding my mother’s illness and its rippling effect on my family.
THE NEW YORKER