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Monday, August 11, 2014

Connecting to Home

“One writes to make a home for oneself,
on paper, in time, in other's minds.
                                                        Alfred Kazin
So many aspects of my life have felt like "home" that I could write more than one post on what creates that sense of belonging.
One is Smell

Fragrant dirt on a rainy day reminds me of my mother Trudy, and her large family.  
Visiting Pennsylvania, always meant time frolicking with my cousins and older brothers. One time we headed out into the wide wilderness of their surrounding property eventually winding up at the pond.  At that small, ribbit-filled spot of water we would catch tiny almost see-through tadpoles. Sliding them gently into mason jars, that felt like they weighed a hundred pounds to my little 5 year old hands, became the focus of the moment. While we were laughing and screaming in pursuit of those little fidgety baby frogs raindrops start softly falling on the earth around us. Bigger drops fall more rapidly eventually clouding over our eyes and soaking our skin. 
(Kids don't care about rain, they just keep going on with whatever they are doingIt's the olders and the adults that make the nonsensical decision to have to get out of the rain because they are soaked.  If they are already soaked why not stay out continuing to have fun? To this day, I don't understand that reasoning.) 
Those care free days of cousins and fun soaked into my soul just like the rain was soaking into the rich, dark dirt. The freshness of the air, the rich aroma of the soil have become embedded in my mind.
I've been working on a short memoir relating to my mother through the depiction of this very exact visit involving the sense of smell.  It has eluded me. It is driving me absolutely batty.  I had my old professor (my mentor) read it over and she had me taking so much of myself out of it that it no longer seemed even an inkling of memoir. 
It ticked me off.  I know that you should write with enough truth to be yours and then fill in the missing imagery to have it be something that connects to the reader subsequently becoming theirs; however, what she was asking me to do was to infuse the blood back in, sew up the cut and act like it had happened to someone else.  How do you write something that doesn't even have an ounce of truth to your soul?  I had to stop writing it, it was no longer MINE.

I really want to finish that memoir, so tomorrow in the peace and quiet of the morning, (hopefully there are no landscape guys to ruin it) I will attempt a fresh start on my memory.

*What makes you feel at home? Is it a smell, a place, certain music, particular people? Home is both a place and a state of mind.