Thunder Being Honey Bear is a piece that appears in Terese Marie Mailhot’s the Heart Berries. The book which was first published in 2018 is a memoir about the author in her younger days that are filled with things that she never liked to remember, even at the age of 32. The memoir, under the nonfiction genre, was written to give hope and courage to individuals who have in the past, found themselves in awkward positions, or have had demeaning things done to them and cannot find the right voice to speak up, forgive and heal.
In the text, the Thunder Being Honey Bear by Mailhot (2018), the author suddenly remembers a man in the shower. She seems to be at a loss of breath, and her pain, from the past experiences, only seem to increase. She then moves to write about the symbolism of thunder which is quite the opposite, intuitive and may result in the awakening of the soul (p. 113). She then goes on to remember her furthers naked body, and the smelled that emanated from him. The author recalls how much she was afraid of breathing during that time when her father had asked her to take a shower with him. Most importantly, she has acquired new knowledge, new memory and feels ashamed of herself. According to her this is Thunder Being’s game, or could equally be equated to be more than simple traumatic stress. Terese then tasks to Casey, her husband, who has come to embrace the idea that Terese may never be Okay. The author feels like a victim, despite being thirty-two and with children, and is even more scared of remembering what happened clearly.
The author, therefore, decides to consult a therapist about unburdening herself by talking about what has been eating into her soul since she was five which is trauma from sexual harassment. At this point, it hits her that nothing is too broken to be fixed, despite her struggling to get that voice that will help protect her children and others from actions such as those she went through.
Quote 1. Mountains were stories before they became Mountains (p. 104)
This statement is significant to the text since it helps portray the author’s dilemma, which involves opening up and talking about something that has hurt her for a very long time. Just like the creation of a new technological gadget, everything must first be created in mind, the story, or rather, the theory phase before it results in the production of an invention.
Quote 2…I can smell him, years away
This line connotes how untended pain can thrive in someone’s life, for years. Despite having showered with the father many years ago, the pain seems to have become intense as time goes by. Given the core theme in this text, I chose this line since it helps create the urgency of speaking up when faced with a problem, rather than let it eat your soul in the process.
Quote 3. My safe place is outside my Childhoods home
Upon initiating contact with the therapist, the therapist seeks an environment from which Terese can learn to let go. This is quite significant given that she does not want to remember her past; instead, this might offer a chance to relive the ordeal alongside the therapist somehow, as she accepts her past, forgiving herself in the process.
The text is quite convincing given that the plight of several individuals struck with pasts they do not want to remember. Firstly, the author’s command of literary skills makes it easy to follow along, and while she does not have to get bizarrely obscene to pass her message, the light touch offers an opportunity for closure to individuals with similar issues. The text made me learn that even in our strongest points, we are still very vulnerable.
One question I would ask the author about the text would be how after all those years she still mustered her strength going on as if everything was okay, despite something eating her up from the inside.
Mailhot, T. M. (2018). Heart Berries: A Memoir. Berkeley, California: Counterpoint.