I am indeed writing to leave a legacy. This site is all about that goal. My mission is writing memoir that becomes a legacy for future generations and includes my quest for you to join me. I hope you enjoy the site and will take a moment to drop us a line.
History compels me to write. The need for true legacy compels me. World and American history has been chronicled over and over through the centuries. That will continue because there is always someone who needs to examine history and retell it. Writers retell history by taking a different slant or viewpoint or correcting untruths and miseducation.
That is not the history that compels me. I am interested in the microcosms of community that make up America. And indeed, around the world. Old Mr. Joe who lives down the street, Ms. Clark, our favorite elementary teacher, old Aunt Essie and Mr. Bell who owns the corner store all have histories. These are the people in our neighborhoods. Did that ring a bell? These are stories that interest me, and they need to be told. Our children and grandchildren need to know these stories. They should hear or read about the real lives of the people that make up their community and culture, past and present. I am fortunate to have heard stories from my grandparents; their struggles and their triumphs, their joys and harsh realities.
My memoir has been a long time coming. I was told by friends, family and even medical personnel that I should write about my illness and health care experiences. A few times over the years I made a start but, was totally lost deciding what I wanted to say and how to say it. I wanted to write all about the effects of my illness; the pain and suffering. The idea of writing about how and why I got through it came much later.
I've come to know that my story starts well before my first bouts of ill health. It starts in childhood, not with physical illness, but in lessons learned. A child, from what I can see, in adulthood lives what they learned. What we absorb from everyday living and all the information that is inculcated into our minds and hearts, determine our paths and our adult decisions.
Everything my grandparents taught me, their lives and how they lived them spoke to me as I made my way in the world. My environment, from my neighborhood to what was happening all over the earth, created a world view for me. I forged ahead for many years based on the teachings of grandparents, school, community mores, and the values prevalent in the USA from before the 60's and beyond. I think that this is pretty much the case for everyone. What matters is that everyone is different and these factors come together in unique ways. The story I tell is very different than the one you would tell, even if you lived right across the street.
I am a little nervous as I write this memoir. Memoir is a special genre. It's the one where you look into yourself, your family, your decisions and try to be honest. If it is not honest and authentic, what's the value? Maybe honesty is variable and fluid but, you cannot write fiction. Forging on is hard because memories and revelations jump out at me. Some of it is unpleasant and some is joyful beyond belief. A major concern in memoir writing is hurting others' feelings, stepping on some toes, treading on unexamined stories and the like. I conclude that I have to brave but be conscious of the effect of my words. It is my story. I am not thoroughly invested in the Socratic idea of life and philosophy but, I believe there is some true merit in living an examined life.
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