In this next installment of the reading, I realize I am a spy in my own life and if I were to sign on as a guest to my favorite television show “What’s My Line?” the panelist would have to guess that was my profession: spy. I also begin pretending that, indeed, I am Arlene Francis, my favorite panelist on the show.

I often read the Saint Francis Prayer but I also like to think that I early on learned the Arlene Francis Prayer which was all about asking questions of others to decipher who they were in the world and not to focus so much on oneself, “oneself” being a word that Arlene would use – which is an odd claim to make by one like myself who has written two memoirs.  Yet incongruity is the crux of one’s life if it is a well-examined one without being also selfish in its contours.


  • Kevin Sessums is the author of two New York Times bestselling memoirs, Mississippi Sissy and I Left It on the Mountain.

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