One Writer’s Beginning 1983; Genre: Memoir
Born in 1909 in Jackson Mississippi, the author recounted how she grew up in a regular white household. With her father as a lawyer and later managed an insurance company, the family had a regular income supporting them. Described from the inside cover of the book as not a major writer, it was later detailed, I don’t know now if she said it, (I think she did) that any writer could come up with a fine writing. Looking back in hindsight, she began with a narration of how her father kept a pocket clock, one that he oftentimes takes out during all his travels, taking note of boundaries between towns, county and state. Her father’s love for instruments were apparent with what in his table, a telescope which they use to locate the big and small dipper at night, a kodak when much later after his death she found numerous negative (pictures taken before her parents got married) she never remembered she saw when younger, ring puzzles that they would put together, a barometer and some other instruments that she would later use in her writing.
What I was most engrossed in was how the author described her experience while travelling with her family. How one scene loomed and disappeared in her sight as the train speeded, houses with their porches telling of another story of a family, her mind creating a scene of children and parents inside the house perhaps having dinner. What she had experienced at home were what she extended from her person to the world outside her. In a way, I think the author shows her gratitude to the life that she had. Nevertheless, all memoir I think is way when someone expresses a gratitude to the life one has. Something that could only be done, looking back.
I must agree to a fine writing of this 100 page book. It is an easy read. When I say easy, its when I am encouraged to move forward with the story without the need to be suspended, excited or horrified. In a way it was relaxing and at the same time teaching me how writing and creating should be relaxing and doesn’t need all the bells and whistles.
While reading, my mind goes back wondering during those times about when slavery and other horrendous violence against humanity were happening around the country. Where was she? Maybe she had been young at that time, and growing up during the depression she also searched for her own place under the sun. She had heard of slavery of not being right, learning from her father a practice that maybe hadn’t been prevalent in the place where she came from. I think now that that practice was notorious with plantation owners, businessmen and capitalist. For a country to be economically active, people such as them were also needed. Indeed, one doesn’t a need torture, violence or crime stories to come up with creativity. It is in the telling of how one makes out whether in quiet and in stormy weather.
Perhaps the book is a very short reading and I read it in two seating, a day apart. It is only now I realized it is a 100 page book and should’ve finished it right away. Never checked a book’s number of pages before I read. I just saw its thickness and because this is one book in my list of memoirs to read.
Above is a picture of my daily journal. A daily process I had unsuccessfully succumb for years as it become dull and monotonous, until I finally found this one that as of today still works for me. It is spiral form clock and shaded. An idea that I copied from somewhere in the internet and surely were recommended as well by other bloggers which I don’t remember. If I remember it right, it was designed and used by architects, I am not sure. I find this easier and more helpful, I don’t need to write in specific details of daily activities, but could explain it on the opposite side with arrows at the same time I am saving a lot of space without missing events in 24 hours.