At the start of this blog, which was entirely a writing exercise not a memoir, I set out to write in all frames of mind, from different perspectives, and to pull ideas from everywhere. As I write, it is never my intention to offer continuity or a true porthole into my life unless the subject matter is blithe. It was and is strictly a place where writing samples can live. My goal was to create a place where I could play with ideas, styles, and punctuation in a public forum making it possible for editors, readers and more published writers to comment, make suggestions, correct, and to give feedback.
Most days, after a full day of work and family, writing with any originality is hard to do so when a concept presents itself I jump on it, formulate it, embellish it, and try to craft something universal from it. This is how I write. Each piece is a compilation of my ideas and experiences, the musing of others, and oddities I see online or in everyday life. I am never talking to anyone in particular, and particularly never talking about myself throughout a piece. My husband and children are always reminding me that things ‘did not happen as I have written them’ to which I say, “Good, it is not supposed to be about my life”. Surely, I sometimes have to back up when I find myself writing too much from my own head. In those cases I shake the literary Etch a Sketch and start again making the picture look less familiar.
Cinderella in Wartime was a piece I wrote that had its roots in a number of different concepts. The basic intent of the piece was to highlight popular thoughts on a subject and bring to light how written anecdotes, however enlightened, have little relevance to practical solutions. You can hear experts talk all day, but in the end, we process all that is good and bad in our lives in our own way and in spite of the rhetoric.
A friend had posted a status on Facebook along the lines of “this is not what I signed up for.” The status was intended to be light, and it brought to mind the Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime and the lyrics “And you may ask yourself, How do I work this?, And you may ask yourself, Where is that large automobile?, And you may tell yourself, This is not my beautiful house!, And you may tell yourself, This is not my beautiful wife!” I have always been captivated by the concept of looking around yourself and asking “How did I get here?” That was where the Cinderella part of the title came in as life never really does drop you where you think you are going to be and often calls on us to look around and assess our environment. It does this for me anyway and I love this notion.
Recently a friend and I were talking about how quickly life passes for us as we get older and yet how a year represents such a large chunk of time for our children. We were talking about respective pasts and painful memories and she said “Imagine that if we let something hang us up for a year, we have potentially missed so much in our kids’ lives.” The idea that time moves differently for people of different ages fascinated me and the thought of missing a second of a child’s life terrified me. My mind wondered onto, how then do we erase negative memories to ensure that they do not rob us of precious time or being present in any given moment. Hence, the eradication of memory concept…
Finally, the wartime analogy was in direct relation to an article I read on the IHOM based in South Africa which helps victims of wartime heal from their memories. Cinderella in Wartime was an assemblage of all of the above along with advice from trusted sources all with little bearing on real life. The wrap up at the end was the message of the piece - that the bad makes the good pop which is a wonderful recipe. Rather than erasing the bad we use it as a canvas to make the good more noticeable.
There have been three occasions now throughout this blog where wonderful and well meaning friends have called to say “were you talking about me or to me” or “do you need to talk?” Despite the small number of followers I have here, my readers span the globe. I have readers in India, Israel, Vietnam and Russia and I am thankful that they have taken the time to view my writing. To my sweet friends and readers here in the states, “No, I am not talking to you or about you” and “No, I do not need to talk, I need to write, but thank you and keep reading”. And now, ironically, I was just talking to you! Cheers!