The other day I was going through some boxes I got from my folks. You know, the boxes from your childhood and college that you knew would eventually end up in your home, but pretty much exist as time capsules intending to haunt you with your own past. Starring roles go to several boxes of books I’d forgotten about, but contain amazing literature, particularly my Russian literature collection and a bunch of “ponies” from when I studied languages. Then, there are the old folded notes from boyfriends past!
It was still tender to reread them, and, for anyone who’s ever dated me, sorry. Sorry for all the times I needed my space, I withdrew, or, actually, sorry I dated in the first place. Obviously I was in deeper water than I realized.
Then there were pictures! Panic!
I gutted most of my boxes into the trash can, even some of the sentimental stuff for my husband’s sake, but it’s worth recognizing so much paper reflecting different eras of my life. Photographs, school work, scraps of poetry, and those various forms of notes—rectangles, triangles, squares—I never could fold ’em the way I was “supposed to.” Often referring to people I’ve forgotten.
When I turn to novels (if I turn to novels), I should conjure up this stuff. Heartwrench-on-demand. And I’ll think of those old folded notes, scraps of words, heart felt but now out of place. And I’ll think about how novels take scraps of words, bits of character, even the out-of-place awkwardness that is realistic life and gives them a home. Lends meaning. Reshapes toward happy endings. Reaches out with some compassionate camaraderie from those who have been there. Novels (and novelists) are pretty amazing.
I really do think writing is to lend a feeling of place, a moment of home. I read so much as a youngster to escape my awkwardness and, lo and behold, it just may have worked! (Even better than dating did! Young ones, stick to the library til you’ve met your spouse-to-be!) 😉
Anyway, life is full of plot development, asides, changes of scenery, and all the rest. And I’m glad. I would have left out a lot of the drama if I could have, but I’m thankful, very thankful to God, for this current chapter and the ones to follow!