Boolean Logic author Morgan Christie on retrospective reflection

Boolean Logic author Morgan Christie on retrospective reflection

Unravelling the threads of the past through reflection

by Guest writer
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In discussing our work and the themes we choose to examine, I’ve found the tendency for retrospective thought to permeate a writer’s reflections. Perhaps this is based in the seeming congruency between reflection and retrospect; our innate propensity to think back to the events of the past while reflecting, when in reality, reflection is to simply give ‘serious thought or consideration’ to a thing.

The interplay between reflection and retrospection

“I can’t help but reflect on how pieces of our past can echo so starkly into our futures.”

I do wonder, in a way, if these aspects are one in the same. In giving serious thought, are we forced to reevaluate the events of our past to thoroughly assess the topics and/or questions being posed to us today? In recycling what we know, are we better able to decisively formulate our reflections, and in turn, respond to the present more carefully than we would otherwise be able to?

Boolean Logic book cover by Morgan Christie, shows a series of blue numbers on a blue background
Boolean Logic by Morgan Christie

In the essay collection, “Boolean Logic,” I recount various events from my somewhat younger life, as well as those of friends and family members, as they connect to themes of interest I still find myself reflecting on today. For instance, in the essay “Sewing Dresses”, I contemplate my time as an athlete, surrounded in sports culture and icons I only knew as guys from the gym. I walk through my time with them, with basketball, and the reality faced by so many women engaging with the sports we live and breathe; a reality intertwined in some people believing we would be better off out of the arenas we’ve spent majorities of our lives existing in.

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Outside of my own experiences, I discuss my father’s time as a NCAA athlete and an encounter with law enforcement that rippled through his life and that of his family. Or my sister’s time as a USTA athlete combatting microaggressive sexism, whether it be via players or coaches.

Through a thorough interview, I retell a close friend’s personal journey with gun violence. I revisit moments from my grandmother’s life, times in which the two of us shared and others encompassing her marriage and memories from long before I was born. Finally, I shift into my mother’s perspective as she holds onto the bright beauty of a swarm aphids even more firmly than I do.

Past experiences shaping present perspectives

As I look through these essays and think about the present day, I can’t help but reflect on the current climates and conversations surrounding women’s rights, gun control, police brutality, and the ‘isms’ that continue to divide nations. I can’t help but reflect on how pieces of our past can echo so starkly into our futures. In these essays, we see how the events of yesterday sometimes trickle towards those of today.

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We see how reflection and retrospect work in tandem; maneuvering as two pieces of a whole narrative. How the things we’ve gone through continue to inform our ability to reflect on the things we experience now. Through these essays, and other works of retrospect, we can better reflect on the big questions posed today; the questions we’ve likely been reflecting on, most of our lives.

About the author

Morgan Christie‘s first chapbook, Variations on a Lobster’s Tale, was the winner of the 2017 Alexander Posey Chapbook Prize, and her first full-length short story manuscript, These Bodies, was nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in fiction. Her most recent poetry chapbook, when they come is featured in the Forward Arts Foundation’s National Poetry Day exhibit. She is the 2022 Arc Poetry Poem of the Year Prize recipient, and her collection People Without Wings is the winner of the 2022 Digging Chapbook Series Prize. Her new short story collection, Boolean Logic, is the winner of the 2023 Howling Bird Press Nonfiction Prize.

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2 comments

Mike W November 15, 2023 - 6:24 pm

Insightful essay and great themes being explored in the book. Looking forward to reading.

Reply
Suswati Basu November 16, 2023 - 11:16 am

Thanks Mike!

Reply

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