It was my daughter’s birthday this Monday. She turned 9. She is her very own self, with some of her personality taking after me and some after her daddy.
She enjoys watching documentaries, like her daddy.
Not my thing. I like reading books.
And writing them.
This month I was asked to be part of a writer’s facilitation series at my church. There was interest in the topic.
The interested people were some very interesting people who thought they might want to share their stories.
The first in the series was a discussion about memoir writing. I was not the facilitator, but I attended to get the feel of the series.
People wanted to share their stories. These dear people had lived long lives and seen much.
I came away with some things to ponder.
How does a person tell the story of their whole life?
I remember when I was trying to start the story that became The Russian American School of Tomorrow I didn’t know how to scale the mountain.
And I had to tell it.
I settled upon telling the story of two friends. But I couldn’t tell the story of those two without telling about this other person.
And that gave me a place to start.
The other problem was where to stop. That took a lot longer to discover.
I was thinking about the group of participants in the writing series. They had a lot more life under their belts.
So here’s where the concept of documentaries come in.
You can tell a history. But history doesn’t have a point. What’s the point of Egypt?
Just for example.
When I tell a story, it has a point.
Which is why it took me so long to find the end of the story of The Russian American School of Tomorrow.
I had to figure out what was the point of this bit of history.
My husband studied history in college. I studied literature. I was telling him the topic of this Weekly Wonder, and he said:
“They don’t teach storytelling in history classes. The best kind of history is stories.”
I can agree with that. It takes more than a string of facts to arrive at a story.
For me, it took taking one little part, one year.
Making sense of the events of our life is probably the point of going over our histories.