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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

organizing journals, diaries, letters, agendas and calendars

Last weekend, I decided to find some of my old journals. I came across a significant but forgotten letters from the early 90's in the attic. I found 2 boxes of journals, agendas, diaries, calendars and a scrapbook of childhood memories started for me by my Mom. I must come from a long line of archivists.

A couple of weekends ago, while going through a binder of family genealogy looking for specific ancestor's link to me, I discovered that I was a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution). Our ancestor and my maternal grandmother were both on the DAR website with registration numbers. My grandmother wrote stories about our ancestors. I'm fortunate to have all of her notes and those of an elderly cousin.

Back to my own archives. I decided to re-organize my stuff chronologically. I'm only missing a short period which I'll be able to reconstruct with visual aids such as photos from those years. Creative non fiction, my latest favourite literary genre.

Friends and I gathered for a pick nick dinner this evening on our veranda, our kayak outing having been rained out. We discussed what writing meant to us.  One of my friends visits her mother's grave and writes directly to her mother. Powerful stuff.
I can't remember writing directly to my Mom who died in 1991. Just the thought of it wrangles me. Maybe I did when she first passed away. I was so angry and hurt that cancer had taken her away so quickly. I know that I did a whole lot of writing. I did eventually write a song to her. It pretty much says it all. I thought I had recorded it, it must be on another computer.

Leaving a trace, Transforming a life into stories, by Alexandra Johnson, has propelled me into taking a second look at the past.  I have desperately tried living in the present over the last few years, maybe it is time to get reacquainted with the past in order to gain perspective and understanding.

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