"Write about what should not be forgotten." Isabel Allende
Oh look! It's 'Throwback Thursday' again. Can I throw it back?
I limped into today via a Wednesday marred by a migraine and a nasty flare up of tendonitis in my right foot. In my efforts to salvage something useful out of the day I decided to clean the finch feeder and not only did I ram a screwdriver into my finger trying to remove the bottom plate, but I then forgot where I put an integral piece to reassemble it again. Not to worry, my love is an expert here - not at remembering things (he's no better than I am), but rather at fixing things - so problem solved and finches have food. Perhaps I should have written down where I put the all important part.
I took refuge in the kitchen. As I turned the fish in the skillet for supper a deep penetrating hum emerged from the oven. I jumped back at the distinctive sound of unrestrained electrical current. With a strange kind of thud, the noise ceased and stove top lights went out. "Well that was interesting!" Mr. Fixit offered. He'll figure it all out in due course, but in the mean time I have no oven, though the stove top is now working.
Is it any wonder that my approach to today, Thursday, is tentative at best? The headache is gone but the painful foot remains. Based on past experience, a few physio treatments to alleviate the acute stage accompanied by RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and 6 (SIX!) weeks from now I'll be back on track. Well, now what?
"Write about what should not be forgotten." popped up in a window on my laptop screen. The words grabbed my attention and instead of my usual disinterested nod, they garnered a full stop, look and listen as a deep resonance reverberated inside me.
For months the memoir about my journey with my mother through Alzheimer's Disease has languished in the bottom of a desk drawer. The story has all but disappeared from my radar. Oh I know the untidy melange of typewritten and hand inked pages is sitting there. I even occasionally give the drawer a kick to see if anything is alive in there. Nope. I chide myself for not getting on with the job, and therein lies the root cause of my inaction - the memoir has become a job, a boring, tedious chore devoid of all enthusiasm and out of sight. Where are the days when a passion-filled pen spewed out pages filled with a heart rending tale?
Why am I writing this memoir anyway?
Today the words of Isabel Allende answered my question. I took the time to search out the context of the quoted words, an interview titled "Why I Write." The full quote is even more instructive for me:
"...Maybe the most important reason for writing is to prevent erosion of time, so that memories will not be blown away by the wind. Write to register history, and name each thing. Write what should not be forgotten."
This may not be sufficient kindling to fire up my fountain pen, but it has opened up the drawer to let some light in, and where there is light there is energy.
Though a search on her name, "Irene Hoersch Cudbird" reveals her place in history, my mother did not change the world on any great scale, in any grand way. But she did shape my place in the world, how I experience and interpret life around me, and she still does so to this day. There are important stories to write, wisdom and truth, love and laughter that should not be forgotten.
©2014 April Hoeller