breaststroke, details, exercise, family, fearlessness, friends, health, love, memories, memory, missing persons, moment by moment, mother bear, notes to self, persistence, personal odyssey, plots, sharing, siblings, story, storytelling, universal
What kind of story would you like to hear?”
said Mother Bear.
“Tell me about me,” said Little Bear.
“Tell me about the things I once did.”
–Else Holmelund Minarik, Little Bear
…and THAT is as good a reason as there is.
We all have stories; they differ in the details, but the themes are common, universal.
I started writing Missing Dad when my father disappeared. A lot of the detail in what I’ve written so far is extracted from emails, texts, and “notes to self” that were contemporaneous with the events I’ve described.
I am writing it because I don’t want to forget. I want my nieces and nephew to have a record of what happened, so that they can share our family’s story with their children and grandchildren and beyond.
The one day I didn’t do any contemporaneous writing was the day he was found. I was home that day; no need to email, no need to write notes-to-self.
That was the hardest day for me to write, because I had to dig deep into my memory and excavate the day, moment by moment. I was blocked on writing that day for months, because I wasn’t ready to do the necessary digging.
But dig I did; my need to tell them, and you, and everyone else the Things I Once Did surpassed my fear of the pain I anticipated that my digging would cause me.
The pain, as it turned out, was not so bad. Swimming really helped open me up to it.
My writing about my swimming is something else; it’s recording a quest. It’s my personal Odyssey.
It’s going very well, by the way. I now swim laps for an hour to an hour and a half, three or four times a week, once a week with fins.
I figure I am swimming about three to four miles a week.
My breaststroke is now my best stroke; I’ve taught myself how to do an open turn at the end of the lane. My hands hit the wall, I fall back, turn over and push off with my feet. It’s not quite pretty yet, but it is highly functional.
My bully has returned to the pool several times since I first told you what happened. There have been no further confrontations, which is a good thing. I’d hate to have go all WQ on her, and you know I would.
(Forewarned is forearmed. What got me last time was that it was a surprise attack.)
I hope these are stories that you like to hear. I tell you about me, and in doing so, I am trying to tell you about you.
The details are different, but the plots are universal: love, loss, quests, successes, failures, two-steps-forward-and-one-step-back.
It is all a journey; thanks for listening to mine.
Please share yours, too. If you have a blog, please post a link in my comments and I will add you to my blog roll if I haven’t already.
If you don’t have a blog yet, why not start one?
PS ~ Many thanks to Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project blog for unknowingly providing me with the great prompt at the top of this post.
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