Everything I write has a memory connected to it. Like a retro song heard on an oldies station, words I’ve put on paper evoke where I was at the time I wrote them.
Some of my earliest writings as an adult were done when my kids were young. As a young widowed mother with two early elementary children, I can see the emotions of that time coming out in some of my words. The overprotective nature of my parenting shows very clearly. The sorrow of the time does, too.
Moving on as my two rugrats emerge into their rebellious teens, my writing takes a sharper turn. It was like I channeled their angst into my own stories. Their teenage search for identities became a focal point in my tales by way of the confusion of a flawed protagonist.
During that same time, I went back to school for my degree. I’d never really questioned my beliefs, but something about college, even when you’re sort of all grown up, something about the atmosphere makes you wonder about the world beyond the one you’ve been taught. I questioned, I stopped believing in certain things, and formed my own opinion. This time reflects in a slightly agnostic tone in many of my stories from those years.
An upheaval in my extended family shows in the style of my writing during the early 2000′s. Chaos was king during that time. Situations were masked and nothing was as it seemed. The world was not what it looked like – an undercurrent of unease ran through my tales.
Over the past few years, a grimness pervaded my words. I look back now and realize it was precognitive. I was being prepared, through a type of emotional channeling, for the worst year of my life. I can’t say whether this was a good or bad thing, this precursor of events to come; it simply was.
Last year, I wrote with a heavy heart and the common theme was untimely death. My nonstop grief was evident. Some of those writings are locked away; I recall them, but I never want to look at the words I put on paper. I’m afraid I’ll unleash a monster that will sweep over me and drag me in the wake of despair.
Today is another day, however. I will write. It’s a part of me and, although I’ll always immortalize my own feelings through my writing, it won’t stop me. I refuse to let my writing cripple me; instead, I will embrace it, pat its back and send it on its way.
Whether you’re writing or reading, do you remember where you were in your life when you look back over stories you’ve written or read? Please share some of your textual milestones.
Current enthusiasm is co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch