Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Writing What Matters

If I was serious about writing, then why didn’t I write my book during that stage of life when everything about me was of such prominent interest?

You know what stage I mean. That stage when it mattered to everyone around me how I styled my hair, how I walked, how I talked, what music I preferred, what star-celebs I idolized, and how well my jeans fit. That’s when I should have been writing cause that is when things mattered a whole lot more to everyone around me.

Don’t you remember how it was? Don’t you remember how those who adored me, celebrated my successes with dance and frolic? And don’t you remember how those who held me in disdain celebrated my failures in like manner? And for sure you remember how, either way, every day, I was cause for a zealous celebration of inauguration or dethronement?

With all the celebrations day after day, I soon no longer took notice, and so I don’t know for sure when all the dancing and frolicking stopped. All I know is one day I had a good look around and saw that I was nothing but a wallflower at a celebration for others I had never even met.

If I’m going to write, what I think or say needs to matter to the world around me. What needs to happen is I must somehow recapture others’ interest and when I’ve done so, I’ll not become blasé and take it all fore-granted next time. Seems to me that while I’ve been dallying away at a postponed plan to write, my chums have aged as I have and now they have their own woes. Too much so, to care about the events of my life – whether distressing or uplifting.

I thought it would be easy to circle back to how things once were. I started by doing a few stunning things. Nobody noticed. Then I did a few clever things. Nobody noticed. Then I did some really stupid things! – and still nobody noticed.

I guess because I am at that other stage of life where people are expected to become forgetful, weird, odd, and bizarre there is nothing I can do to re-capture audience-interest in my world. In my current state of oldness and weirdness, there is no immoral act that I could commit that would give rise to a dance-and-frolic celebration among my foes. And in truth, there is likewise no righteous act I could do that would give rise to dance and frolic celebration among my ‘pros’.

The lowest common denominator of all this is – ‘Like, who cares?’ (I included ‘like’ in that phrase cause it is the only tool I have left to draw small notice to the things I wish to express.)

Obviously, I’ve waited too long and now it is too late for occasions in my world to speak to common interests of any generation. It is too late for my self-expression to blossom outside of myself into a new, funny and endearing nickname from one associate side, or a taunting mean-spirited nickname by the other. And, way too late for my perspectives to afford lingering disgust, or even delight.

Nothing I say or do now is the stuff of legends as it was in my youth. I can no longer magically chain what I say or do to a fixed space in time so solidly that the memory remains for me and all who knew me. I can no longer create memories that are so sturdy and long-standing that they bring tears of laughter to old acquaintances forty years later at a school reunion.

Case in point – is there anyone laughing, crying, (or even reading) yesterday’s rant? Of course not. You see how the relevance has been forever lost. Obviously, as a would-be writer, I procrastinated much to long and now what I write spills out with a deadening thud.

So why didn’t I do my writing in my youth?
---– When it had as much precedence, meaning, clout, character, and relevance as my hair-do, the fit of my jeans, the celebs I adored, the movies I watched, the songs that I sang, and the symmetry of the rolled cuffs on my socks?


Pauline said...

lol Roberta - change your name to George Burns and write something ;)

Roberta S said...

Thanks for that encouragement, pauline. You know, it just might work.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I think it's a little thing called 'Life' that steps in and side-tracks the timing of things Roberta...and then we prioritize. Could it be that in your most prolific writing years you were busy raising your family and your focus had to be elsewhere? I know that was the case for me. I can't speak for the past, but can well imagine your fervor and fire....I can only speak for the present, and I can tell you one are gifted.

Roberta S said...

Thank you, joy. When I'm fishing for faith and encouragement, you always come through and I love you for that.

Your comment gives me more satisfaction than dissatisfaction and clears away the guilt from the author part of my mind.

Dick said...

None of us can venture a reply to that last question, Roberta. Only you can delve into the tangle of regrets, supposed missed chances and wistful half-memories, all of which are subject, of course, to the distorting mirror of time. All I can say with complete assurance is that – knowing you only in your present incarnation as a passionate, eloquent and mature writer – what you produce here is wisdom over rubies. Take heart – you made it!

Roberta S said...

Dick, thank you for that very kind 'atta' girl'.
And yes, you are so right. With my weakened memory, I had forgotten how 'mirror distortions' can skew images until they take on something far removed from the original moment in time.

joared said...

What are you thinking? You write when you write -- your promise is now, so proceed.

Just realized the new blog style my son helped me select is like yours. Hadn't realized that 'til now. Maybe there was some sort of unconscious influence in my choice. Do I have to change? But it will only be like somebody elses blog.

Roberta S said...

hi joared. Thanks for visiting. A promise to write now is disconcerting because my promise in retirement was to slash any (all, if possible) commitments to impractical tasks - to do only the impractical commitments that are important to friends and family. But still, you are right. My girls want me to keep on writing and whenever I threaten to quit, they are sorely disappointed in me. They have a way of turning my writing commitment away from me and towards them.

And no, my dear, you certainly don't have to change your blog. I'm actually flattered to find others find delight in this simple design.