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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tell your story.


As we age, we look back at  places, people, skills and accomplishments that belonged to us and gave us identity and purpose.

We miss people.
We miss work.
More than we know.

We remember longingly our childhood days,  family members, celebrations, trips to the beach, the mountains, the city.
Many things have changed.
Our lives are finite.
We are coming to the end of this journey. Everything we do and we think about, may be for the last time.

I get these feelings quite often.
I'm constantly reminded that what's ahead is the end.


We can preserve these memories by writing them down, cherishing them properly, putting a ribbon around them and presenting them to our children and grandchildren, and generations still to come. Our humanity will be reflected in our stories and our words.

I teach a college class in Memoir Writing every winter or so.  (It all depends on funding!) I too reminisce and share my written pieces with the class, and so, lovingly and deliberately, I'm preserving  my gold pieces. 

Have you thought about writing your memoir?

Who will tell your story?


p.s. if you have not discovered my other blog, stop by, learn something new:

http://lakeviewer-italianforbeginners.blogspot.com/

40 comments:

Simon C. Larter said...

In a way, good lady, every piece of fiction I write has a little of me in it. My fiction is my memoir. Or at least a little bit of my legacy.

Hopefully I've a long way to go and a lot more to write before it becomes that, though. I need to make up for my late start!

lakeviewer said...

Simon,
You are right! Everything we write is about the world we know, the things we feel passionate about.

It's been a pleasure following your journey.

Late start?

Simon C. Larter said...

Late start, good lady, because it took me 16 years after graduating high school to return to my real passion. It's okay, though. I lived through a lot in the interim, so the sensibility I bring to my fiction now is worlds removed from that I would have had at any earlier time in my life. It's just how it worked out, I suppose.

Pauline said...

"...I'm constantly reminded that what's ahead is the end."

Yes, and the beginning, too, of an adventure we can only imagine (or hope for).

I've been writing my life for years, now, first as a columnist and now as a blogger. It helps to put things in perspective :)

Nancy said...

I've thought about it. Maybe someday...

RNSANE said...

Well, I've written my poetry since childhood...sometimes my sons tease me about that. And I've been doing my blog since September. I certainly have thousands of photographs. I should definitely start writing memoirs...maybe, if I have grandchildren, they'll read them. - or I can compile my blogs into a booklet!

Fire Byrd said...

That's why I started, and it is ongoing, writing down what I know about therapy so my sons will know what I know if they want to one day.

Wander to the Wayside said...

As you know, I've been writing my stories along the way on my own blog, while those memories of dates and people are still in my head. If the blog is still available down the line, it'll be for my grandsons. But I probably should think about printing it up in a journal fashion. And your right, "As we age, we look back at places, people, skills and accomplishments that belonged to us and gave us identity and purpose."

Brian Miller said...

that is exactly why i blog...to leave my story for my kids...hoping there is still many sotries to add to it though...

An English Shepherd said...

They do say dogs live just for the moment, the boss says hopefully not.

Wizz :-)

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Beautifully written post!

I am constantly looking back lately. I have no desire to write a memoir, I'm too busy with my projects. Maybe later...
;-]

Eva Gallant said...

My blog in some ways is my memoir; the short stories I write have some of me in them. I hope to publish these eventually.

trousers said...

I used to keep a diary, between 1985 and 1997. The blog definitely fills that particular gap - and more, and I suppose my music and painting serve to tell much too.

Maggie May said...

That was a good post. Everything you say is true.
I wish I had asked my parents for more knowledge about certain relatives and their lives. There is no one left to ask now.
I think that is why blogging is a good thing. There is something left after we are gone.
I am trying to get some of my memoirs down on paper.
I feel more close to the end than ever before & have this urgency to write things down. Can't think why I have been so relaxed about it before!

Nuts in May

Madison said...

My father told me that his memory would only last one generation. He left behind years of cassette tapes and notes. I have two trunks of those tapes - no one in the family wanted them. I've had them in a bedroom locked away for a decade. You've inspired me to begin listening.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

What a wonderful post!!! Thanks for spurring me on!!! I love the idea of leaving my stories behind...I wish my parents had left me theirs...~Janine XO

janis said...

I use to think I couldn't write my story. I use to think it was too boring. The blog has changed that. I am about to hit my 500th posting and to celebrate want to have it turned into a book. Just for me. And here at home in case my children, or childrens children ever want to read it :)

Ribbon said...

This is a wonderful topic.
I periodically write short letters to my son in a journal which I started when he was two.

One of the things that I treasure most from the people whom I have loved and are now deceased is anything hand written.

Written history is wonderful, but I think that story telling is equally as important. The art of communication in the now rather than having to read something later.
You can't get any answers to your questions from the written word.

Living in the concious moment is a skill and one that we should all embrace no matter what our stage of life.

I thoroughly enjoy everything that you share Rosaria and am grateful that you do.

best wishes always
Ribbon

PS... I believe also that love is an eternal flame... if you have loved you will not be forgotten and your stories will automatically be told :)

ellen abbott said...

I have tried several times to write a journal. Never took hold. I have copies of the letters to my mother in the last six years or so before she dies. I think my son still has all the letters I wrote to him during his service in Iraq and now I have my blog which I had already thought of printing out and binding. Perhaps I'll include all three sources.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Whew, very timely post, as I have lately had those "Our lives are finite. We are coming to the end of this journey. Everything we do and we think about, may be for the last time" feelings.

Journaling Woman said...

My life is pretty uninteresting so I doubt if I would write a memoir. But I do journal online and in a journal, so anyone that wants to see what I am about... can.

The Things We Carried said...

I have! I am thinking very seriously about it. It would be quite an undertaking, but I feel it is a story worth being told. Besides, I am fascinated with peope's lives, that is why I read blogs. So maybe just maybe an editor would read my story.

I would love to take your class!

R2K said...

: )

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Were you teasing me about not knowing about Elderhostel (because of the word Elder, lol). It's now called Exploritas...just for that reason, haha

http://www.exploritas.org/

ds said...

All of your pieces are gold! I think your memoir would be most interesting (mine, not so much; I'll pass).

enchantedoak said...

Here's my recent experience with memoir: Took a workshop, sat in the classroom with 20 others, listened to the seminar leader talk her head off about her family, never shut up, never give us a writing exercise until five minutes before the end, then talked about herself all through the final five minutes until I thought my head would drop off my shoulders and roll around on the floor.

Marguerite said...

Great post! I have always written about and recorded various events and occasions throughout my life. Hope to have time someday, to compile all of my journals and diaries that I kept every year, from kindergarten through college, too. Your class sounds great!

the walking man said...

When I have passed I am more than willing for the wind to come and blow and the tide to rise and let both rinse the signs of my having this way come be removed.

potsoc said...

"Coming to the end"? Not so sure of that. As long as someone somewhere remembers or think of us, we keep on living, not in the flesh but in a spiritual kind of way. That is one kind of afterlife...and maybe there is another but we will not know till we get there, will we?
For the time being I'm gratefull for each new day...and try to live it as fully as possible. This morning I'll be going to my 4 years old granddaughter's dance school end of semester show. We will be on bad seats, take photos galore and then, all 8 of us, go for brunch in a restaurant my son has spotted on the Plateau Montroyal, a Montreal borough where the school is.
My last day? maybe yes, maybe no. Tell you tomorrow.

Dave King said...

I related to so much of that.

Reya Mellicker said...

YES YES YES YES YES!!!

We have so much to offer to those who follow us. I bet your class is fantastic; I wish I could take it.

In a sense blogging is an exercise in memoir writing. It's immediate and impermanant, but so available!!

I for one do not miss much about my past, certainly I never think longingly about my childhood, god no! I like getting older, and I don't fear death. In fact I am curious about it, though not in any rush to get there.

You are awesome!!

Gaston Studio said...

Since I started bloggin, so many people have suggested I write my memoirs and I may do just that, for my family.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I'm working on a memoir book - that was my project for nanowrimo... Wish I lived closer - I'd take your class. right now I'm workign with a book by Judith Barrington.

Robynn's Ravings said...

Absolutely EXCELLENT advice and post. It's what I love about blogging and one of the reasons I started - to preserve the stories for MY kids.

Hey, thanks so much for stopping by 30 Day Throw Down. Robynn's Ravings is my main blog featuring mostly humorous takes on life and 30 Day Throw Down is my journey to a healthy weight and healthy eating for my family and me. So glad to have you come and visit!

Good for you for your local choices and caring so much about others. Privilege to meet you. :)

Robynn's Ravings said...

P.S. Looking at your comments I see I know several of your readers. You keep WONDERFUL company. :)

Margo said...

Memoir is so interesting to write. I think it often gets an unfair rap as being narcissistic, but of all the types of personal writing I think it is the most therapeutic personally and helpful in regards to one's other writing. I'd love to take your class!

becky at abbeystyle said...

You'll leave a rich legacy behind, Rosaria.

Woman in a Window said...

i tell my story every day that i live it. it becomes rewritten even then, as well. Layers, many layers, that eventually can be pushed out as a stack of papers on a desk. Perhaps then i will understand myself. Perhaps never.

I am glad to read of you. Sometimes reading of others grants us clarity upon ourselves.
xo
erin

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