Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Seamstress of Memory

Life must be understood backwards; but... it must be lived forward.
Soren Kierkegaard

Howard Terpning, "The Storyteller"

It is the first part of Kierkegaard's quote that speaks to me. Ronni, who writes a most excellent blog at Time Goes By, triggered the memory of this Kirkegaard wisdom. (Did I first hear it in the movie, "Pay It Forward"?...I don't recall. In fact, I had to Google the phrase to find out who actually penned it.)

As I thought over the email from my friend, it occurred to me (as I suspect she intended) that I wasn't really a "blogger" as much as I was a "storyteller". Blogging just provides me a vehicle to reach a bigger audience.

A bystander once observed Michelangelo as he took a long time retouching every detail of a statue he’d been working on for many days, and asked why he bothered with them. Michelangelo replied; “Trifles make perfection and perfection is no trifle.”


Maybe by retouching my past I can create my own personal piece of art, though perfection is not my goal. It was not my intention to make this blog totally autobiographical, but it has evolved into something more akin to "life writing". I have discovered there is emotional significance in reminiscing; it polishes the past with a patima of forgiveness and brings memory into focus with a vivid jolt.

I once had grand dreams of being a published writer; I suppose you could say I have achieved that aspiration. If for nothing else than to give my own posterity a sense of who great great grandmother "Pattie" was, then this blog has been successful.

And so, in 2007 and my fifth year of blogging, I intend to concentrate more on personal storytelling, be it humorous or tragic. It may not be the stuff great novels are made of, but it will be my story. Though I have no lack of imagination, I have come to realize that writing fiction is not my strength; it is by reaching back to a real life moment and sewing on a a little embellishment that I find enjoyment - a seamstress of memory, if you will.

Now, where did I leave my thimble...?


Ronni Bennett said...

Hear, hear. Looking forward to your new year of storytelling. You do it so well.

Alan G said...

Had not realized you had been a blogger for so long. Congratulations on hanging in there for five years. Not a day goes by I don't have my bouts with closing up shop. Then I have a thought and start typing again.

I can relate to having the desire to share the moments of your life. I often have those thoughts and then finally decide just who in the hell wants to know about me going to sleep one morning riding my bike to my old paper route and crashing into the back of a parked car or the time when I was out "trick or treating" and at this particular house a lady ask if she could see how much candy I had and when I opened the grocery sack and showed her, she grabbed a huge handful of goodies and slammed the door.

So I continue to debate the reason of it all. But....I think everyone else should continue with their blogs because I enjoy reading them. And you know, I get inspiration from them! :)

Anonymous said...

patty, the stories you promise are the best kind of stories. I love the parallel between stitching and the idea of real life with whatever fanciful embellishments you, as the writer, choose.

I like this kind of sewing circle. I think I'll go find my thimble and do a stitch or too as well. Great inspirational thoughts. I certainly enjoyed reading this.

joared said...

I look forward to your stories, Pattie, as others have said they do. As a novice blogger, I'm hardly one to be offering input on blog content, especially to someone with your experience, but I do enjoy what you write -- your observations, serious thoughts and wit.

Maybe you can weave your fiction and memories together along with a dose of dramatic license fulfilling that book publishing dream.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to more of your stories...

Mildred Garfield said...

I'll be looking forward to reading about YOU!! You tell such good stories, it will be great to learn more about YOU.

Traveling this new road with you should be a great ride for all of us.

Trace said...

Wonderful post; wonderful picture!!

Trace said...

Looking back on this entry a second time, my dear "Pattie", I have to add now, you have definitely made your mark on this life here, through your storytelling. Here's to your talent and time spent! Your efforts do not fall on deaf ears, nor hardened hearts!