Welcome back to the A-Z series
devoted to ideas for
Finding Greater Purpose
Today’s Letter is “T”
Trap Time in a Tale
Trap Time in a Tale
It’s not a tall tale! It’s not a fish tale or a fairy tale.
It’s YOUR tale!
In These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith, today’s devotional said,
“Sometimes in order to thrive,
we need stories more than we need food!”
I thought about calling this blog post “Thrive by Telling Tales,” because I think it’s true: some days we DO need stories more than food!
Some days I thrive on writing (and coffee), do you relate? Writing gives my life meaning and purpose.
I CAN Trap Time in a Tale.
You can, too. You probably do – every time you sit down to write!
Do your tales help add meaning and purpose to your life?
I decided against,”Thrive by Telling Tales,”
when I thought of the Jim Croce song,
“Time in a Bottle.” Do you know it?
“If I could save time in a bottle,
The first thing that I’d like to do,
Is to save every day
’til eternity passes away
To spend them with you.”
We may not be able to save time in a bottle, but we can Trap Time in a Tale!
The devotional I referred to in These Days is titled, Remembering Your Story. The author, Jan McGilliard wrote, “Stories can greatly expand our understanding of God, others, and ourselves… No matter your age or stage in life, remembering your own story is sacred work.”
Memoir or Autobiographical Tales
Each of us has a story to tell. It is sacred work! When we write our own stories, sometimes they are called autobiographies. They are focused on us, as the writer, the tale teller. Sometimes they are called Memoirs. What’s the difference?
LifeRich Publishing on the web says,
“The fine line between memoir and autobiography is a fuzzy one, especially in this modern literary era where writers are constantly blurring the boundaries between genres to create a new, exciting one. Like an autobiography, a memoir is a narrative that reveals experiences within the author’s lifetime. But there are obvious and practical differences between the two genres.
In essence, an autobiography is a chronological telling of one’s experience, which should include phases such as childhood and adolescence, adulthood, etc., while a memoir provides a much more specific timeline and a much more intimate relationship between the writer’s own memories, feelings, and emotions.”
Among other distinctions, LifeRich Publishing pointed out
- less formal
- more concerned with emotional truth toward a particular section of one’s life and how it makes one feel now
- less obsessed with actual events
while Autobiography is essentially:
- written by the main character (or at least drafted with a collaborative writer)
- made up of detailed chronology, events, places, movements, reactions, and any other relevant information that inhabited the life of the subject
- focused on facts – fact, above all, is its foundation
Gore Vidal gave his own distiction when he wrote his memoir, Palimpsest.
He said, “…a memoir is how one remembers one’s own life, while an autobiography is a history, requiring research, dates, facts, double-checking.”
I have written a memoir. It’s titled, “All My Marbles.” It is definitely less formal. It is concerned with emotional truth from my emotional perspective. It reflects how I feel now about my life’s people, events, and places – as well as how I feel about myself. It does capture Time in a Tale.
I don’t know if I will publish it in my lifetime or not. I finished it about three years ago. There are chapters about my grandparents and Bob’s. About my parents and his. About our marriage and children. And (to focus on its essential purpose) there is a chapter about and for each of my seven grandchildren. I want them to understand their Grammy better – – – know where I came from – – – and see how I responded/felt about each of them when they were born and as they grew into and through their teen years. They are now 23 to 28 years of age. Two have children of their own. One is about to have a second child, and one is about to get married.
Time in a bottle? No, time rushes on. But I trapped a period of it in my tale! It sings to me.
“All My Marbles” sits here in my computer.
I have it saved to the cloud
in case my computer crashes.
All My Marbles
Because I love my JanBeek readers, and I respect your opinions and enjoy reading your posts, I want to share the foreword, the introduction to “All My Marbles” with you. Tell me what you think.
I’ll be 80 this July. My prayer is that for another decade (at least) I can keep all my marbles in place, and working. But, if not… I have Trapped Time in this Tale.
Here is the Introduction to “All My Marbles”
I want you to know that I am a rather strong-willed, sometimes too outspoken, retired career woman who intends to live to be ninety-plus with all my marbles in place. Right up to the last, I want to smell good and wear dangling earrings that match my outfit for the day. I hope my children will get the message that there’s no need to get twitter-pated about getting older. As long as you keep your eyes on the NOW, your sense of humor tuned, and allow your style to be uniquely YOU, it’s likely that (unlike my cantankerous mother), you will wear your shirt right-side-out and still “give a shit” at 89!
My mother was a real spitfire! I knew she was not long for this world when she headed out one afternoon to a doctor’s appointment with her blouse inside out. When I brought it to her attention, she barked, “Oh, who gives a shit?” See, that’s where that quote originated, and sure enough, it was one of her last appointments before she departed our company.
Mom wasn’t always so contrary. Back in the early sixties, I got my first job in the states as a result of my hometown superintendent’s interview with my mom. I was in Germany teaching first graders on an army base. He liked what Mom said about me, so he agreed to hire me sight unseen. Before school started, I returned to California and popped in to visit the superintendent.
“Why do you want to work?” he asked. “Why don’t you just stay home and take care of your husband and start your family?”
Even though it was not illegal in 1962 to make that rash assumption and ask such questions, I realized his inquiry was sexist and inappropriate.
“Why should I choose when I am able to do both?” I answered his question with a question of my own.
More than five decades later, I still am averse to making either/or choices. My two children assure me they never felt neglected even though they had a working mother. I loved them, scolded them, laughed with them, played with them, read to them, and spanked them when they needed it. Spare the rod and spoil the child. I believe that! I did the SuperMom/MasterWife stuff while volunteering at Sunday School, teaching primary children, getting my master’s degree, earning an administrative credential, being a principal at a year-round school, and supervising student teachers at the college level. Why do only one thing when you can do six? I was part of the generation of women who knocked loudly at the glass ceiling.
Now, in my senior years, I know it’s important to keep my mind active. “No day is complete,” my mother-in-law always said, “unless you have learned something new.”
On this bumpy road of life, I am learning something new every day. Certainly it is not a smooth ride on a gravy train. You need to keep a sharp eye on the muck ahead, remember to glimpse lovingly at those around you, and listen for that still small Voice to guide you. Life is a constant learning adventure. All your marbles must be shined and put in place to survive and thrive. The bottom line is love. If it’s not unconditional, all hell breaks loose.
Let me introduce you to my family members and share some of my favorite life lessons with you.
So, my blogging friends, what do you think?
Does the introduction invite you to the memoir
in a way that would cause others to be interested?
Or should I just self-publish ten copies
(one for each of my children,
one for myself,
and one for each grandchild)
… and call it a day?
See you tomorrow.