Twice … I’ve read the same question. It held my attention, if only for a short time between this and that. Then I read it again. That made three times. “Why do you write?” The question sought me, so I thought I’d ponder it.
Why did I write and what place does writing serve in my life?
The blurred a patch of the windscreen persisted even I moved my head. Silently I cursed the health centre car; why didn’t they clean the windows properly? I sat in a comfortable parlour with an old fashioned mantlepiece clock, 10:15, doing a home visit.
Assessment done, Issues discussed, began to write up the home exercise program. I derailed. My speech garbled and I lost the ability to write words. I looked at the clock,relieved that I could still read the time, 11:05.
I wrote about Dala, my father’s hometown in Schicksal. We went there as part of my research into the past. Dala taught me many things. This is what happened just trying to get there. Our confusion is probably shared by travellers and immigrants daily.
Writing ‘Schicksal,’ I often came to dead ends. My three children inadvertently helped. I’m sure their intentions whilst pure were never intended to be so far reaching. Some months after my father’s death I packed up the unit that had been sold. The process incredibly painful for me left some things undone.
On NYE, I sat on the floor, determined not to bring unfinished business into a new beginning. The ‘too hard basket,’ as the white plastic laundry basket became known, contained items I had no idea what to do with.
Among these random things were two old Benson and Hedges metal boxes containing photos.
Lady in the Park
Hearing her voice no one could tell,
She hid her age,
Wearing it well.
Her neatly coiffed hair shone in the sun.
Now over eighty,
She’d had a great run.
She stood fairly tall,
Reluctant to stoop.
The little bend sideways not showing at all.
Seeing her silhouette ahead in the sun,
I realised slowly,
What age she’d become.
Last week I retired from my professional career. Like all change it left me torn, wonder and expectation tussled with emptiness and dare I say it, fear. For so long the role of physiotherapist clothed me. It gave me something, some one to be.
I see myself a s a story teller, my head full of quirky tales amassed over the decades. I want to release them and free myself, creating space for the new to enter. So having written Schicksal, I felt pretty chuffed. Little did I know I stood on the top of the slippery slope.
I had dreams; big ones, bold, at times unrealistic but clear, or so I thought. Easy. I just wanted to be an internationally acclaimed author. Now what’s wrong with that? Dream Big, that’s what all those feel good, new age sites advise, isn’t it?
On my writing desk I have a photo of my mother. She laughs at something riotously funny. The image in the sepia tones of time, is someone I never got to know. Her European side locked in the vault of her heart buried deep,sleeping soundly.
This morning I reflected on Mother’s Day and the cycles of nature. As a child I revered my mother, loved tagging along as she completed her household chores. In adolescence we drifted apart as I began to befriend for the woman inside me. I selected the direction of my feminine reality.
Then I became a mother, young and confident. Embracing motherhood I sought to provide foundations for my children to stand on in their lives. I watched them adore me, running to the door when I came home from the hospital, hugging my knees and saying, “I love you mum.”
My heart still overflows just remembering this.
My readers may recognize this image, the basis of a chapter in Schicksal.
When I booked my place at the Clunes Booktown Festival, a pocket full of dreams came with me. Crossing uncharted waters, I ventured into the unknown hoping to sell the left over hard copies of Schicksal, my first novel.
I felt a sense of foreboding mixed with excitement. This strange mix of emotions often dawns when a breakthrough is in the wind. The déjà vu unsettled me but I try to stay calm, philosophical and above all open.
I’ve been chugging through the past couple of weeks, flat and low. A trip up to Bendigo, to see the Marilyn Monroe exhibition seemed just the thing. The summer temperatures ebbed away and the shade felt cool, pregnant with the coldness of the winter to come.
Autumn leaves along the way boasted their impending demise, bold in the face of death. Maybe they were screaming and I couldn’t hear them.
When I finished writing ‘Schicksal’, I rather naively thought that I had accomplished a great deal. Balboa Press the self publishing wing of Hay house helped me to understand that publicity and marketing were my next area of growth.
My parent’s memoir continues to enrich my life. Already I have embraced so many new experiences. I have learnt about social media, blogging, and book launches. Librarians have been very supportive and helpful. My public speaking confidence is growing daily.
I like talking to people about my book.