I overheard someone talking about me and tried to decide if their comment was made to mock or praise me.
“The storyteller teaches writing.”
Didn’t turn my head or give any indication I was aware of who the topic of conversation was because my curiosity was genuine.
What was the meaning and purpose behind the comment?
A thousand years later I am listening to music and uncertain of what the intent was, mildly amused because the person who said it has no idea of my background and none of this matters.
It is narishkeit, pure nonsense and positive or negative there is likely no impact but a man is curious.
Curious because this is something I have some background and experience in and the comment should be positive but one never knows.
Mark Twain wanted to dig up Jane Austen and beat her skull with her own shinbone. Writing is a personal thing and we all have our own taste.
I thought I saw a raven flying through the air and it reminded me of my father quoting Edgar Allan Poe.
“Nevermore said the raven.”
“Dad, I read that ravens are birds of prophecy and death or something like that.”
I can see him turn his head and look me, bright blue eyes asking his 10 year-old son where he learned that.
Due to a government restriction on the release of information from the census the most recent release for public consumption is from 1950.
There is a rule that prevents information from being released for 72 years which I believe is based upon privacy but that might be inaccurate. You can look up the details and confirm if you wish.
Anyhoo, the details of the 1950 census were recently issued and the information is being collated. I am waiting for the genealogical services I use to put it together and will see what there is to learn about what my grandparents shared about family life.
I am curious to see if jibes with what my parents told me their lives were like when they were relatively little. They both missed being part of the 1940 census by a hair so maybe this will provide something interesting about grade school life.
Maybe it will add pieces of a story we already know or illustrate something we don’t. Since Dad isn’t around there is only one of his first cousins left who might be able to comment, but I don’t think they were living in the same city then.
I can ask my mother and aunt if what we find makes sense to them but what sticks out in memory at less than 10 years of age is a crap shoot. They’ll be able to confirm the address of the home they lived in and some other details, but other things…who knows.
And that assumes that my grandparents answered those other questions about education, income etc.
The veracity of some of it doesn’t particularly matter, it is my own curiosity….nothing more, or maybe I ought to focus upon the Raven again.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
The readers come and go and those who were once most consistent seem to frequent the places less than ever before.
Writers who must write put pen to paper regardless of such things but the same curiosity that drives other questions makes for moments where one wonders if you have run out of interesting material for all or for some.
Sometimes when you read a series of books or television equivalent you wonder what happened to the writer.
You wonder how they could produce magic pearls who made you hang on each word and lean forward in your chair and then push garbage.
How do you command lightning to strike where you wish it to and then so badly lose the handle you know it must have struck you instead and burned out your insides.
There is no other explanation.
It is like love in that respect. Sometimes you love another with the kind of ferocity and depth that leaves no room for the sense that it could end.
Change maybe, but end never.
And yet sometimes it does and that which you counted on to take you a lifetime lasts far less.
That is what some of the bad writing feels like.
I Wander With Purpose
I don’t know about you, but I wander with purpose. I am prone to taking the long way home and I don’t always follow the trail but I have a general sense of where it is I am going.
My grandfathers were like that but my father isn’t. The man figured out what direction he wanted to head in and off he went. Didn’t matter what got in the way because dad went through, over, under or around. But he didn’t wander in the sense that I am thinking of.
I suspect much of it has to do with moving 13 times as a kid. He figured out where he wanted to be and made a life of it. I used to think that he didn’t have much sense of adventure but I was wrong. He wouldn’t have joined the Peace Corps or done some of the other things he did. Took a while for me to figure that out, blame it on the blindness of youth.
When you get to be older you start to see things differently, or at least I did. It is like listening to different musicians cover the same song.
Two more days until Pesach starts.
Two more days until Passover and a lifetime since the seders of my youth. The voices of my childhood and beyond echo inside my head.
I remember hearing them tell their portion of the story of the exodus from Egypt and come Friday my family will do it again in far smaller number than we once did.
Been thinking a little bit about how to connect the dots for the kids who will love the food but have less interest in the simple version of the story.
Maybe this year we’ll go deeper and make it more sophisticated or maybe we’ll spend more time expressing gratitude for what we have because we have had far less.
Maybe we’ll do a few things and maybe I’ll silently ask that the hard times follow the words of the raven and be experienced nevermore.