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IN OTHER WORDS
I've just started reading my second Ann-Marie MacDonald book in as many days, The Way The Crow Flies, and I am completely enamoured of her writing style. This second book is about an Air Force family in the early 60s and even though it is the CANADIAN Air Force and not the American one which provided my childhood label of "military brat," it is already evident after only a few chapters that she has captured the essence of it completely.

If you move around all your life, you can't find where you come from on a map. All those places where you lived are just that: places. You don't come from any of them; you come from a series of events. And those are mapped in memory. Contingent, precarious events, without the counterpane of places to muffle the knowledge of how unlikely they are. Almost not born at every turn. Without a place, events slow-tumbling through time become your roots [...] Tell the story, gather the events, repeat them. Pattern is a matter of upkeep. Otherwise the weave relaxes back to threads picked up by birds to make their nests. Repeat, or the story will fall and all the king's horses and all the king's men....Repeat, and cradle the places carefully, or events will scatter like marbles on a wooden floor.

I could have written that. I wish I had written that, because it so perfectly describes that feeling of rootlessness, of multi-homeness that describes my upbringing. I have to sometimes think quite carefully about my past to put things into proper order. Where was I when that happened? What grade was I in? Ah yes, then it must have been this year, not that one; this place, not that one.

Writing that list of lost things last night was like that. A kaleidoscopic moment-in-time, which twisted and reformed with each memory-shake. Remembering my life is like that. Writing in this journal is like that. Reading blogs is like that, too. A shake, a twist, then putting my eye to the viewhole, and peering in to see what patterns and beautiful creations can be seen.

***

2 Things That I Can Do Well if I Put My Mind To It
1) I can make a bed with hospital corners, neat and tidy and crisp, but I don't anymore because I abandoned using top sheets years and years ago. I don't remember who taught me how; most likely my mom who also taught me how to iron. I don't do that either, except once in awhile for our cloth napkins or tablecloths used for special dinner parties. I don't know why I dislike ironing, but I do. I put it off sometimes until we actually need the napkins again, which means, basically, double-ironing.

2) I can giftwrap like a professional, neat square corners, lined up and matched. It was probably my mom who taught me that, as well. After purchasing one of Anders' Christmas presents this year at a sports store, watching the young cashier's aide bungle and botch and mangle the wrapping job was actually painful. I had to look away and then turn my body to avoid snatching the tape out of her hands and doing it myself.

***

Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Noticing Right Now

Big Girl, Best-Year-of-Your-Life, Bubbling Birthday Wishes to helloheather!
 mellow
mood: mellow
music: Heart—Dog and Butterfly


Comments

Thank you for the good tips for good writing!

I've read both of her books, also, and have enjoyed her writing quite a lot. I imagine it will be even more potent to read The Way The Crow Flies having been raised in a similar setting.

I don't know why I dislike ironing, but I do.

Me too. For me this means that about 1/4 of my wardrobe is out of commission at any given time due to the fact that it's either in a pile waiting to be ironed or in another pile waiting to be taken to the cleaners. I'm clearly never going to win the housekeeper of the year award :).

Iron clothing? You must be mad! :P I never iron clothes if I can help it. They hang dry, or they don't get bought. Anders irons his shirts and pants occasionally, but I fear we are a fairly wrinkled household.

Growing up with a thousand and one experiences sounds so romantic and enriching. I spent my entire childhood dreaming of such an adventure. During my puberty I actually resented being forced to live my entire life in suburban New Jersey; I mean, can you get any more bourgeois?!

It was only when I uprooted myself that I began to appreciate what my parents had given me - a safe and stable foundation which I could always fall back on, a clear definition of who I am and where I come from.

I think both types of childhoods have there advantages. The one broadens your perspective; the other anchors your soul.

Given the opportunity, would you want to give your children the type of childhood that you had?

If they reacted to it like I did, yes :)

'Spose that is the clue. For the one child it is an amazing, wonderful experience leading to a better sense of self and the world. Yet for the other they are left lonely and disconnected. I saw this a lot at the International School.

I remember you mentioning that your sister didn't enjoy moving around as much as you did.

From what little I know about your kids, I think they would enjoy it.

Your great reading tips are always welcome! I have that book on my reserve list at the library. And yes, I added Under the fucking Tuscan Sun to it as well. It had better be good......

I love to iron. It is very relaxing and therapeutic for me. I put on a movie and happily while the 90 minutes away getting creases out of clothes.

I'll send my ironing to you then! >:P

Fint! I'll be waiting.

Thank you for the happy birthday wishes! The birthday was wonderful, filled with a family Christmas party (still? I know.) and then pizza and presents at my mom's. My gift from Rob was dinner out at The Melting Pot (fondue place) last night, so we stuffed ourselves full of tasty things and topped it off with chocolate and really, it was a fantastic birthday weekend. :)

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