This is the prompt that has been given to me as a ‘to do exercise’ after I recently joined a local creative writing group. It is supposed to inspire me to write something. I have sat and thought about it for three days now and have come up with nothing.
I started writing this blog as a kind of living diary. My purpose was to share memories and feelings that my kids could read in their future, something that might capture what life was like for me, their mammy as a child. They only know me as ‘mother’. They have no idea what I was like as a girl, unencumbered by husband, children. They only know what I tell them.
I admit that the blog has been censored. I generally write about events that focus on the positive, lovely times that I remember, but there are also times/events that I have left out. Darker and less gilded. Should these stories be also told? To the people in my life I am a woman of many labels. I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, niece, colleague, acquaintance and friend. I live a life, ordinary and quiet. I am a socialist at heart and have played my own personal part in fighting against perceived injustices throughout my lifetime.
I am quite a shy person, although most new people I meet don’t realise this about me. I do not function well in large groups, but prefer intimate conversations where similar interests can be explored leading to wondrous and breath-taking discussions. I am unafraid to discuss the feelings that can lead to the depths of despair, and into the darkness that can surround us as humans at various times throughout the course of our lives.
I have experienced loss of the greatest magnitude, and understand the search for meaning and relevance in a secular world where the religious maps that my ancestors benignly bestowed upon me have left me sometimes emotionally unequipped and without a paddle. Moral compasses shift and tilt, and the bedrock of my Irish religious heritage has become like quicksand. I have nothing to hold onto. I don’t believe in it anymore, and I acknowledge that there is a huge freedom in that.
However, when you let go belief, tradition, history and habit, you have to be strong in your resolve. While I know what I want to consign to the past, I am unsure of what I want to nail my flag to in my future.
This creates a relentless search for knowledge, to read more, to learn more, to know more.
I have joined this new creative writing group to challenge myself, and to see if I can be ‘prompted’ to create words that are not about my past. I am not sure if this will happen, and I am also not sure if I will ever be able to write anything that is not prefaced by a glass of wine.
During my days there are a myriad of thoughts and words that race through my head, but I never jot them down. Pour me a glass of wine at 9pm, and lead me to a laptop. I cannot be silenced.
I do believe that I have a song inside me, but it is never going to be a popular chart topper. It is always going to be my own voice, questioning, asking, and wondering.
If I write the words will you create the lyrics and hum along with me?
(This is not my submission to the group).