Thursday, April 23, 2009

Love Affair With Words

I’ve had a love affair with words most of my life. Not just talking words, but also writing them. I don’t always succeed, but the intent has been to share information or convey a feeling. A word alone, but with the proper inflection, can ask a question, give direction or display emotion. Playing with words is like stringing beads to make a necklace – one bead (word) at a time. Sometimes you can get your message across with one word - or a few - or it may take many.

You can make your necklace in person, face to face. The meaning of each word depends on the inflection of the voice and the facial expression. If talking on the telephone, you retain the inflection but lose the facial expression. The hardest way to communicate, in my opinion, is by the written word. Am I stating my feelings exactly as I want? Am I leaving too much up to the imagination of the reader? Does each word carry its proper importance? Am I worrying too much about all this?

This blog was started as therapy for myself – to string all those words together in order to record long ago happenings and express my feelings about certain events. It wasn’t long before I realized that I wasn’t writing these words just for myself; it became a way to communicate with my granddaughter so that she would know the things I did as a child, as a young mother and now, as an older woman (I hate that phrase!), the things that are important to me. Maybe she will know her grandmother as someone besides the cookie baking-holiday cooking-story reading person she sees only a few times a year.

If other readers joined this journey along the way, that’s fine, you are welcome to come on along. But do yourself a favor. Start your own blog to record your life’s journey for your children and grandchildren. Tell them who you are behind those glasses and gray hair. Tell them about your hopes and dreams and why you took one path and not another. You don’t have to be a great or even a good writer (I can be a witness to that!), but you have to be honest and tell it as you remember it and not as you wish it had been. Sharing your life story is sharing one of the most valuable possessions you own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess great minds do think alike. However, you carry through with action whereas I simply have wonderful ideas.

As to Grandma baking cookies...there are no better stories than those centered around meals and dining tables. I know you remember an aunt "whats-her-face" for a special recipe or the way she set the table. Perhaps, it was how she sat in her chair or would set the table with her finest china always. Somewhere there is a wonderful story in life's simplicities.

My Aunt Ruby taught me the art of making smooth milk gravy (she had a secret she shared), my Aunt Alma Wave was ready to clean the table before I could get my first bite (she did teach me how to make pink taffy...did I do some pulling that day) and my Aunt Lucille bitched her way through every meal after her husband would always give a ten minute grace. Aunt Mary was too tight to share her food, and my Aunt Delphia's family never thought anything of 'picking' from your plate. My sister would never eat anything other than the white meat of fried chicken. She would have my mother hide the breasts and pulley bones under the pile of a couple of chickens when we would have Sunday guests...which was darn near every Sunday. I still hate Sundays due to all the company my family invited as a child. I usually ended up with a neck, wing or back piece. Ah, family and food!

What's your favorite food memory, Brenda?