Thursday, June 2, 2011

Life Transferred to the Page

As I focus my writing on the memoir I am carried to other times in my life. Other places. People left behind long ago or people who left me. People I don't want to see; people who I wonder what happened to; people who influenced me in ways I could not have predicted or whom I thought had no influence.

My life has had some pretty clean breaks from one time to another. New relationships. New towns. Jobs. College. It is all relative, I know. I know people who have moved more. Who have had far more relationships. Who have had lives more complicated and dangerous and survived unimaginable suffering. And some whose lives seemed way better. Easier. For whom life seemed to fall into place or who were handed whatever they wanted and they never questioned.

But I'm writing about my life. Or a piece of my life.

And people who were important at that time. In one way or another. And the realization sits with me over and again that I am who I am now because of them and those times. Good and bad. Right or wrong or it just was. But that is what has helped shape me.

And my anger. Or the black hole of despair at times. The wanting to work things out and the wondering when a trust is betrayed or confusion when I feel blindsided. The joy at getting on a bicycle after 30 years. The freedom of kayaking on the river. The smell of the ocean inspiring. Remembering falling in love with someone I shouldn't; and saying it.

Pieces of a life. My life. Being transferred to the page.

The writing is easier than the editing. And both are required. As is being present in my life now and traveling to my past.

I searched for images and videos and something to represent this process. This moment. By accident on my way toward something else online I came across a video of Holcombe Waller singing "Hardliners." The description of the video fits, too. And will lead to a prompt!
"Hardliners" follows singer-songwriter Holcombe Waller along a dream-like path from his bedroom to the stage and back. Three friends (featuring the performance and choreography of Miguel Gutierrez) support and shape his journey. The video muses on the relationship between performer, the audience, and all of the friends and family in between.
PROMPT: Watch the video. More than once if you'd like; I recommend it. One beauty of the internet is that you can pause the video if there is something that speaks to you - wait and watch for it.
Some thing that reminds you of a time when ....
or a person who ....
or that thing you had when you were ....

What is your relationship to your audience? Who are the friends and family or memories in between?