Saturday, October 18, 2008

March of times

Recently I was re-reading the Rachel Manley book, Slipstream, A Daughter Remembers. I often re-read books, my ex-husband used to say that I got real value for money when it came to my books. Some are like old familiar friends, others, read once and then passed on to friends or donated to various causes for sale. The Manley book ended up on my read list quite by accident; while digging through the several hundred on my shelves for a book for a friend, I came across it and decided to read it again.

It was the second in a trilogy; at the time I thought it was a good piece of work, since I bought it I've read it a few times but this time was different. It was a painful read, because really, sometimes you can't go back. While it is a well written book, you sort of have to wonder why, at sixty, Ms Manley is still trying to work out her relationship with her late father who died more than then years ago. And it made me realise again, just how much we are influenced by our past and our sometimes inability to move on. Issues left unresolved fester, leaving scars that you carry, like a medal unless you come to terms with yourself. In trying to constantly define her relationship with her father, Ms Manley has never come to terms with herself. Fine if you're twenty-five or even thirty, but a little harder to swallow from a sixty plus year old. Frankly, there were times I wanted to tell her, writing is fine, but maybe therapy might be order of the day.

So many times we cling to things, whether old emotions or possessions, we carry around unnecessary baggage. In this blog I write about a lot of subjects, it has become my way to relieve the pressure of day to day living. It's also become a way of putting aside things or sharing them in the hope that my experiences can make a difference to someone else. Recently Adele and I were talking about the book that I have been writing for years. Some of the work from that appears here from time to time. Having read Ms Manley I finally understood why I keep putting off turning some of the material into a book. It's not because I am afraid to confront the past, or that it is all too painful or all too wonderful. It is that it has ceased to interest me. So while there are shared remembrances here, they have become a part of the distant landscape, occasionally nostalgically trotted out to emphasise a point or as a story, but they no longer have much power over me.

Years ago, as much as I love to write, I had to face the reality that my name was never going to be on the front of great works of fiction, not enough discipline on my part. Life is a more interesting subject. So that's what I write about, the day-to-day stuff, the things I read or listen to, this is my little corner. Having been forced to take a "rest" for a couple of days in an attempt to get past the chest infection, I've been weeding through the bookshelves, pruning with an eye to making space for new things to come into my life. Whether it is clearing out the closet, purging the things that are no longer useful, not hanging on to old experiences at the expense of new ones, it is all part of the process, of moving on, finding a space, this is life. Go live it.


Marcus the Coffedude said...

Some of the most succesful authors, those that just seem to reach in effortlessly and tug on your heart or to open parts of your mind you thought no one else know existed, seem to have deep personal issues. The catalyst of expression perhaps? Virginia Woolf (my girl!), Jane Austin, Hemmingway..just to name a few.

I am always curious about writers backgrounds and life stories. It gives me context and understanding. It is part of the drama about a novel that extends beyond its pages.

Not that a god author a disturbed man or woman makes...but it sure gives a hard to reproduce tinge to their prose and content.

Back to you now...your blog plus your life is your novel! Imagine Mark Twain with the internet, he may have never written a full book at all but may have kept several blogs (he was an avid writer of letters). Every entry you make is another leaf in the Coffewallah epic.

Gabriela García Calderón said...

I hope you are doing better. I guess I can tell that from this post.
Sometimes is very hard to let go. Maybe it's the hardest thing to learn in the art of living. We stuck to the past as if it is the only thing we have, and it takes tears and pain to find out that isn't true... if at all.

Angie said...

i cant wait for caffeewala-the movie!