Start small…Write about what is happening right now so you can learn to write well about what happened yesterday. — Beth Kephart, Handling the Truth
Manning my booth at the Craft Fair during an impending ice storm, only the hardiest souls trickle by. But they are sometimes willing to share a story, so the day is punctuated with laughter and poignancy.
“The time we think of this is usually after the memorial service,” says one; I estimate that he’s a Baby Boomer like me.
“Yes, but we are the repositories of those stories,” I say, tapping my head to indicate memory, “and then we make the same mistake ourselves.” Guess that’s no comfort, for he smiles and moves on. Personal historians encounter this regret often.
But our clients, and people at our writing workshops, and our colleagues, and the people we meet who smile and exclaim, “I’m working on…!” express great joy and fulfillment with personal history projects, family history, and memoir.
Especially now, at Christmas, Festival of the Lights, when thoughts of family pervade, those engaged in preserving and sharing their story are very, very happy. There is the joy of remembering and of sharing, the comfort and peace of legacy story in memoir. The excitement of knowing one’s life has significance for others.
The recipients of these stories spread that circle of rejoicing. Including me. I have found the follow-your-heart job for me in personal history. Hearing your stories, finding the meaning, the laughter, the tears, the pride, the realizations, the growth that when told, helps others. Thank you!
Wishing you a very merry, happy, reminiscing time of year. Take notes.