There are delicate moments in our lives that really show us who we are. Some say cancelled flights, traffic jams, and tangled Christmas tree lights can bring out our true colours. And I do tend to agree with that. However Brad Land's memoir, Goat, gives us another point of view from the victim-turned-survivor of a particularly brutal assault at college. It shows his reaction and his journey to self-realisation from it. It is a beauty of a book, in very plain, in-your-face language.
I had the pleasure of meeting Brad Land when he came to Ball State University and sat in with my creative nonfiction writing class some years ago. He was a kind, chatty, young gentleman who also signed my book and drew a picture of a house with a little tree next to it one of those blank pages that comes at the very beginning of the book. I treasure this signed first edition.
But what I would like to say is that sometimes it takes time for us to let it settle, then reach into ourselves and bring out those delicate moments and show ourselves how we have changed from them. To show how they have branded us, and why we identify with them. The goat can be for different reasons, but I feel we have all been a goat at least once in our lives. We were the pawn, the joke, the center of confusion, the need to fit in, the sacrifice. We were the redemption that came out of it, and ultimately the reminder of all of it. Behold, the survivor. Because goats can balance precariously on mountainsides when everything else slides down.
My first and only tattoo (so far)