Sunday, April 4, 2010

Distant Memories, A digression

For those of you thinking that the term "distant memories" is a bit on the redundant side, one can only remind you that we have memories from yesterday and we have memories from what we did last year but we also have memories from years and decades past. I raise the notion of memories only because I have been thinking lately of attempting to write a biography. James Thurber quoted Benvenuto Cellini in his own short biography, My Life an Hard Times, saying that Cellini believed that a person had no right to write a biography who had not achieved something of excellence. I firmly disagree with that notion. I do not think achievements are what make a person. I would think, rather, that it is those things that we do not achieve that perhaps are more interesting and form our lives more than excellence. As for me, and most of us I suspect, my life has been a series of pitfalls, with a highlight every now and then. It would be so easy for me to belabor my love of knitting as a fine example--I taught myself how to crochet, I have flirted with embroidery all of my adult life, I have taken up weaving, am attempting to spin, but it is knitting that has my heart and where I have achieved the most proficiency, however, I will refrain from delving further into this brief summary of my creative life with fiber.

Writing a biography or memoir invites a multitude of techniques at remembering distant memories in objective ways and that in turn forces the writer to examine beliefs associated with the memory. Did my age have an affect on my memory? Did my feelings for another individual blind my rememberances? I can definitely say "Yes" to that last one when I think of my mother. But I also know that I am capable of objectivity, particularly now that I am approaching advancing age. I've learned that much.

I think perhaps I will begin with one of my earliest memories which is one of me in the front yard of my grandfather's house. We were sitting in the shade of the house and the brightness of the sun shone onto the immense lawn that lay in front of the house. Grandfather wore a hat and it shaded his face and I just remember trying to focus on his face. I have been doing that ever since. Focus. I tend to analyze, evaluate, re-evaluate, and fret even about things I am particularly intent upon. So that is one snippet of this life. I strongly believe the personalities we had as children stay with us, and so this one brief memory of so, so long ago reveals to me that I was born this way, have remained that way through both bright and tempestuous times and undoubtedly will remain afflicted with the need for analyzing everything.

Today I have nothing to offer in the way of fiber arts, no photos to share although I have so many projects going at present that I am just short of being overwhelmed. A few photos are likely to appear in the near future.