better than true

A writer puts into words a moment in time. What happened, what she paid attention to, what she felt about it.

And when she chose to write about it, she will have the perspective of that time and place.

It’s a time capsule. Books capture history.

Books are history. History is considered to have started with the development of writing. Before we wrote it down, it was pre-history.

But where does that leave fiction? Fiction didn’t happen.

Fiction isn’t true. It’s all imagination.

Fiction isn’t science–it’s art.

There is an art to imagining a story. The people and the circumstances coming together in a way that fascinates.

And there can be failures of imagination.

We all have blind spots. Looking back, I can see how I missed the obvious. I was convinced of a certain point of view, committed to it.

With perspective I see what I did not see then.

And I see the same in famous books. What was most precious to my ancestors in the past seems limiting now. As clear as cut crystal now that the assumptions were wrong.

When I read the stories that were treasured by my predecessors, I know what comes next. I know how this led to that and how the next thing happened.

My culture is a carpet behind, a littered path of pages. A scrapbook of memories.

Remember when? They are not my stories, but the group has told and retold the stories they are like my own. I remember the plot twists and turns.

A people’s literature is how we tell each other who we are, what we wish we could do and what we want to avoid.

Every day there is a new story, or another hundred. These old ones that we all know though have special significance.

That’s why studying literature is important. Even if it is painful. It is history even if it’s fiction. Our stories tell us who we are and who we want to be. Use your imagination.

Also Mommy

Also mommy…

Why does my daughter always begin addressing me as if we are in the middle of a conversation? Her young brain must be in dialogue with me all the time.

I’m probably a bad mom since I’m always trying to get out of conversations with her. I want to be left alone, so I can use my brain for my own purposes.

For working at home, I spend a lot of time talking with other people. All those meetings, IMs, text messages and phone calls to track down whatever I’m supposed to keep track of and then I walk into my house where my daughter picks up where she left off in our conversation.

It’s not fair to give her the dregs, but I haven’t got much left after everyone else got there first.

Take a breath. Reach deep. Be nice.

All I want to do is be by myself. I microwave some food because I’m starving, and take the bowl into my own room. Let me have my thoughts to myself!

Now I feel bad and guilty for wanting to have time to myself. My acting teacher tells me there is nothing like the energy that is created between people in the same space. That’s probably true, and it would be just the sort of thing I would miss out on. My whole career is remote communication, right?

I specialize in not being the same space as other people. Suits me fine.

Just like a live concert is surely better than a recording. But I get more music in my life with all the recordings.

I am sure it’s better, but I can only do what I can do.

And I can’t do with all these people pulling on me! Can I not be in the middle of these conversations?

I had a whole conversation with myself I was trying to pick up again.

It won’t be today.


“Also, mommy…”