I am redrafting my second Stella Page book and finding all sorts of ways I could have done better in my first two drafts. This of course takes time and requires time paying attention.
Then there is the writing course I am taking for three Saturdays in February, March and April. The group meets for a full day each of these months to learn more about the craft of writing and to share our homework. I am so behind in this group! It is intended for those who want to write some of their own life stories and need the skills to do so. I need the skill of getting started.
But from the little bit that I am doing ( I will catch up before the last class and how often have I said that in my life??) it is really apparent that I don't know where the time has gone. It is a bit weird for me to be looking back to my childhood skipping the many more years I have spent trying to be an adult. But asking my sisters (those closest in age to me) what they remember of the events I think I want to write about causes some hilarious moments. Not only has the time gone fast but it appears we all lived different experiences while experiencing the same event. If you know what I mean?
Yes you were there. No I wasn't.The house was huge. No it was really small. We got sent to bed without our supper. No we got sent to bed but we did get supper. My boot got lost in the mud. No my boot did. I didn't get stuck at all. Yes you did.
All of this is to say that our lives end up being fiction since no one can remember what really happened most of the time. Even if we had kept a diary the entries would be through the eyes of one of us. Maybe had we had video and cell phones on us all the time we would have an accurate record of these events. But who is going to keep track of all that stuff. Best to leave it to what we remember.
We are lucky in that we don't argue over it anymore. There is no one terrible event that has scarred us all so our memories are causing us pain. The stuff that did bother us melted and faded as we moved on with our own families so time "going" can be a great leveller. One of my favourite quotes is "This too shall pass."
My memories for the writing course will be made up. I might pretend that they are true if I have to share one or two but deep down I will be glad my siblings won't be in the room to hear me.
I found this article while looking for information about memory so if you want a more scientific look at memory have a look. Memory Reconsolidation Understood and Misunderstood