Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why we/I write........

Every now and then there is a post you read which absolutely resonates inside your heart and head, and this guest post by Dianne Nelson at Ali Edwards is one of them. Yes, yes, and yes again.

Hop on over and read it now - go on........ I will wait........

(The dulcet tones of a pneumatic drill are wrecking the peace of my Saturday morning, by the way. The people 2 doors down are having their driveway redone, and it is going to take weeks, judging by the lack of progress even with the drill hammering away as I speak.)

I write because I can't NOT write. It is a compulsion.

I write because the words are fighting to get out of my head, tumbling over one another in the process. It take time to sort them into some semblance of order, let me tell you. I write on squared paper (I LOVE European notebooks - they all write on little squares. Divine.) and I write on the back of till receipts. Anywhere. I write when I go walking - doodling away as I take frequent rests. The people I worked with used to laugh when they read my lesson reports - they were totally different to anything they had seen before. It doesn't matter what it is - I love words, and I love to write.

That, I suppose, is the answer to why I am here. Why I feel at home here in my small corner of the world wide web. The words. Oh my, are there many words.

Writing conjures up images in my mind, and I hope in the minds of those who read what I write. Recording events and memories of distant times, painting pictures for my children, for my family and friends, and for me. Living with a Dad who had a really rapid form of Alzheimers, and with my own experience of focus and memory damaged by the CRPS, writing down things will mean that one day, the parts of my memory which will have vanished into the ether will have some prompts. I hope. Maybe I will remember more as I read of my past when I grow old and feeble. Who knows - but it is worth a shot.

And if nothing else, I will have preserved those stories for my children and grandchildren and generations to come.

Last night, there was something on tv about children born during the war. It may have been football related. But they mentioned playing on bomb sites. And there were the little children, wearing the old grey serge type of uniforms, with peaked caps, and skinny knees, and so help me, one of them could have been Geoff. He was born during the war, in a city which was a major target for the bombers, and he told me of how he used to play on bombsites, and how he and his friends made toys out of the bits of metal and wood they found digging around. I don't want to think about what the metal was a part of either. Heaven knows that could never happen now with all our Health and Safety regulations in place. Back then, however, if you survived a direct hit, you were doing very well indeed.

And I wished I had asked him more about his childhood. Mind you, with the WWW here, I could go back through the annals of his school's history and put together some bits and pieces, I am sure. Another thing for the "to do some day" list.

While watching, I turned to Diana and said - " That was just like your Dad's childhood, you know". Somehow, it makes it more real.

I need to write it down.

I need to preserve it. I need to record it. It is not random - it is my history. Diana's history. Missy's history. Andrew and David's history.

There is no such thing as a boring life, is there. All the choices, decisions, repercussions, trivial or hugely important - they are all part of a unique story. Each is different. The same events seen through the eyes of 2 people, have totally different significance.

I think back to a simple picnic in Constantia forest when Andrew and Diana were small. If they remember it at all, Andrew will focus on balancing on a log over a stream, while Diana will remember fairies living in the base of a tree. I will remember that Geoff was home for the day, and how we laughed as we watched the children play in the water. See - we all see things from different perspectives, don't we. So all I can do is record what I remember. I wish there had been an internet, digital whatsits and blogs back then, but alas, that was in the days of snail mail, pencil and paper and 35mm cameras.

Scrapbooking works in the same way. It does not have to be perfect. The words are the important part. I am creative, and I love messing about with pages. I have a gratitude journal too, which is a wonderful book of memories to keep. I try a daybook now and then, but somehow, it keeps disappearing under piles. There are many piles in this house.

But while I have this place, I have no excuse. The words spill out, like a torrent at times, and will keep doing so. For a long while, I hope.


Needled Mom said...

You are so right. It is always such fun to look back at pictures and I so often wish that we had words to go with them. I am not sure that I would have wanted an internet as I was raising my children, but a journal of some sort would have been nice. Then again, life was too busy to write it down.

I, too, tend to write things down on the oddest scraps of paper. Sometimes I will wonder what it was that I was writing too.

The Bookworm said...

I hope so too. I love your writing. And I love the way the internet allows us not only to record our own histories, but to share them.

Linda said...

Your writing is always meaningful and refreshing to me Linds, and I know it is precious to your family. I couldn't have said it better. There is something magical about words and your memories are priceless gifts to you children and grandchildren.
(I like the idea of taking paper and pencil with you when you walk. I sometimes have these wonderful inspirations that I have forgotten by the time I get home!)

Dawn said...

I definitely need paper and pencil or a recorder with me at all times - I think of things to write and they're gone by the time I have a chance to write them down. Sad. But I am so thankful for blogging, because it has me thinking and writing again.

Your writing is so special!

Fran said...

A gratitude journal sounds like a good idea, especially for miserable days.