It goes without saying, that all of us, at one time or another have done silly things. But not Hub. He prefers to think he is an exception to that rule. And so when I remind him of something foolish he did in the past, he usually says, “I don’t remember any such thing,” and truly he doesn’t. But when I start fleshing out the moment, he says, “How do you remember all that?” And then with a snort of disgust, “You must have wrote it down.”
But no, I didn’t. Still I understand why he thinks I did. He sees me writing all the time. But I share with him only a tiny segment of what I write. The odd bit that I think might pique his interest. But no point in telling him that. He’s totally convinced that all that I don’t share is about him.
And so I write and write. I also read. And in my reading, it took me long enough, but I finally realized that every book is about lives lived, whether fact or fiction. And in reading about literature what I also discovered is that for years Auto-Biographies were solidly shunned. They were branded, (and in many minds still are), as dull, self-centered, egotistical, bloody blither. And understandably, if all an Auto-Biography contains is a resume of occupations and acquisitions, it is definitely that. On the other hand, Biographies, (the story of a life told by another), were acceptable almost from the get go. Even the Bible is a Biography of sorts.
But why? If literature is about life experiences, and its appeal is the interpretation of those experiences, then who better to write about a life than the heart and liver (no pun intended)? And why should the interpretation of a life be scoffed at or penalized with non-compliance just because it cannot be woven from first person into a third person voice and moved to an exotic clime?
Now when I think about the things we enjoy most in life, I think we would agree that it is the social interaction between family, friends, and community. Relationships with family have never been smooth. But we’ll ignore that for now and consider the other interactions I mentioned. Unfortunately, what has happened, in a rather insidious way, is as our lives have become more transient, valued friendships are tattered. And community has become pretty much non-existent. An ideology, rather than a facet of life. Both seriously damaged by a pot forever stirred where nothing can gel. We move, change jobs, change locale so frequently that even as stalwart life-long residents in a small town, we find ourselves nodding more often to strangers on the street than familiar faces. And even bosom friends, when separated by space and an accumulation of time, drift apart. So the only way we can gel those life experiences that we used to share in unexpected places like a coffee shop or the post office, is to write them down.
I wonder if I should share this rant with Hub.