Sunday, April 09, 2006

Week 11 theme/Distance, frame, alienation

Everything I’ve tried to write so far, I have quickly abandoned. I keep re-reading the examples and starting over…. I can’t seem to bring myself to write about the downside, the problems, or the heartaches. Is it because of my New England upbringing? “You don’t air your dirty laundry in public.” “Everyone has troubles…you don’t need to broadcast your own…just deal with it and move on.” Is it because the writing, the letting it air in public, might hurt someone, in my mind, ..Even though those same “someones” will probably never read it? Is it a feeling of not supporting someone close to you? Of refusing to let go of the past? Perhaps there is guilt over my own shortcomings, my own transgressions that I don’t want to face. Guilt for having a relatively carefree childhood? I grew up, living in one home, with the same two parents and one sister. When I was hungry, there was always food. When I was cold, I turned up the thermostat. My needs were met. Enough of my wants were met to strike a balance. While I didn’t ever feel a sense of being denied, ( other than wanting my own horse, and a swimming pool…and I was able to ride my Godmother’s horses, and swim in the river), I wasn’t given everything I wanted, either. I had rules to follow, and even though I didn’t feel like they were very fair at the time, in retrospect, they were not unreasonable. I had my own dog, and my own cat. I knew that my parents loved me, and when my sister wasn’t being a big sister bully, she did too. That may be why I have no great desire for “things” now. I live comfortably, but certainly not lavishly. I don’t mind if someone has the latest greatest “whatch ma callit”. I can be happy for them without coveting that which is theirs.
My mother told me once that when she lost a pet as a child, her mother told her not to cry. She said, “The most you could do if I died is cry.” The loss of a pet shouldn’t be equal to the loss of a mother. That seemed rather heartless to me at the time. Maybe it helps explain why I always cried over the misfortunes of other people… the cousin who asked as we picked him up in the middle of the night, “Aunt Laura, why doesn’t anybody want me?” ( I was around 8 at the time. He was 10) My neighborhood friends who lost their mom to lung cancer, then suffered more pain when their dad’s new mail order bride blew into town and turned out to be the wicked stepmother. I sat in a circus as a 9 year old, and cried because as I saw it, the children didn’t have a real house to call home.
I still can’t write about the low spots. I will continue to cry over the children in The Bridge to Teribithia , and for the boy in Stone Fox . ( there’s just something about him carrying his dead dog over the finish line that does me in every time) Maybe someday I can distance myself enough to write my own creative non fiction. Until then, I’ll continue to skirt around the edges. This may even help to explain the Blogger name, since it bears no resemblance to my real name.


Blogger johngoldfine said...

Just the kind of discursive, veiled piece I go for--the reader feels he's in good hands, but never knows for sure where those hands are leading him. That sounds just right for week 11.

11:25 AM  

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