Archive | May, 2019

Keeping Secrets

21 May

More naps these days

As I dive into this memoir thing, I’m coming to the realization that I knew very little about my adopted family.  Is that odd? I don’t know.  I can only recall a scant number of facts about their backgrounds, and after that I have to basically guess about it all.  It’s too bad, I guess, this gaping hole in my ancestral background, and I’m not sure who to blame for it.  We all love to blame, don’t we?  Should I blame my adopted parents for not telling me, or blame myself, heaven forbid, for not asking enough questions during my first twenty years?  I sure don’t want to blame myself although, truth be known, I’m comfortable doing so.

I’m in the process of building a fence in the backyard between us and our neighbors to the north. It’s been a long time coming, one of those chores that just seem to constantly fall down the to-do list.  This fence is eight feet tall rather than the customary six.  That was a purposeful decision, of course, as all are.  We have gone a good number of years with zero privacy back there, and a good number of years enduring the arguing young couple and their countless guests and loud parties.  I can’t do anything about the sound, but I sure can do something about the privacy.

And maybe those first two paragraphs are related.  Maybe my parents just wanted privacy and so did not share their past with their only son.

Finding the reasons for actions, or inactions, is important, don’t you think? It’s something I’m trying to do more of as I grow older and hopefully wiser.  It’s one of the reasons I’ve opened up so much about myself in my writings.  “Why keep secrets” is my mantra.  In truth, nobody can hurt me as much as I hurt myself in the past, so judging me will be like water off a duck’s back.  I might as well just open up and have at it, and perhaps a better understanding about me . . . and perhaps about you . . . will come from it.

There really is a great freedom which comes with growing older and not giving a shit any longer.  I wonder if my parents would have been more forthcoming if they had lived longer?

Knowing them, I doubt it!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

It’s All About Me?

7 May

More naps these days

Writing one’s memoirs is an interesting exercise.

My first reaction is one of resistance. It all seems so self-serving, directly opposed to the humility I wish to convey and live by.

It all seems so silly, the concept that my life might be interesting enough for a full-length book. Who would ever find my life to be fascinating?

And yet I see the value in it and, as a writer, I understand that every memoir written is not only written about the author but also about every single person who reads it, because we are all so much the same.  We strive for individuality, from the make-up we use to the clothes we wear to the thousands of possessions we purchase over the years, and yet, at our core, we are the same.  Events which have happened to me are relatable to a great many people.  We all have suffered loss. We all have struggled.  We all have had great personal triumphs, all have loved, and all have similar fears.

So my story is, in many ways,  your story, and perhaps that is the greatest value of a memoir, to show others that they are not alone in this world, that they are not strange in their thoughts, and that they are not mistakes of creation.  We are all stumbling, bumbling, mistake-prone jumbles of emotion, and we are all, in our own way, miracles.

And so it continues!

Bill