This is my second attempt at starting a blog. I tried last year. Wrote 2 posts and then proceeded to get mired in life events, which made me think about writing on a daily basis, but seemed to prevent me from writing at the same time. The original intent was to document the family history research that I was doing. The research that I started doing so that I had something to work on with my Dad. He had a passion for genealogy. He inherited research from his mother and her brother; and it seems that I also find endless lists, charts, research, and general chaos appealing. It started with a photo project. A simple slide show for a family reunion that morphed into a huge ‘project’.
I grew up in a family of 4 sisters. My Dad grew up in a family of 4 brothers. We all seemed to share this insane concept of things being fair or even. My Dad used to tell stories about my Grandmother’s cooking and how everything was planned out exactly for 6 people. I can only guess that this equal division was so that no one child felt special or left out or in his stories hungry. And then my Mother carried on the idea. Everyone had Christmas gifts of equal value. All portions, rations, love…all divided so that no one was special and no one was left out. I carry that odd sense that things should be fair somehow even now. Though logically, I know it is false and definitely shaky ground upon which to build an ideology. It was a family structure created to avoid fist fights.
There I was making a slide show for the family reunion and thinking we needed to represent everyone’s family and each person within it equally. To avoid hurt feelings more than fistfights at this point, right? A recipe for much stress and judicious editing. But with that slide show came a slow-growing obsession with finding out from where and when the photos came and the desire to start cataloging events within the context of Our Family History. To try and tease out the truths from the stories, if possible. I didn’t care anymore about making things fair, but I wanted to make things available. I wanted us all to feel special and to know our shared history.
“There’s no one thing that’s true. It’s all true”. Ernest Hemingway,
Ten or more years later and it all seems much broader. And now Dad is physically gone but still very much alive in the spirit of our family and in our stories. There were times when I didn’t appreciate the long lectures and facts and details he tried to share. I tried to get more personal insights from him over these last few years, but I could have done a better job of writing the things down. I always thought there would be more time. And so even though I have tried to start this project/blog/thing before it is finally time to really use my words. To stop thinking about it so much. To stop trying to make things perfect to just start writing. The part of me that loves dystopian fiction thinks why bother with this? Things could go to hell next week and then who will care where you came from? In the grand scheme of survival does this matter? I think it does. We are all here because Some One survived Some Thing. So, welcome to my blog/project/random word & image place. There will be research, photos, travel, miscellany. There will be things that are important and things that are not. This is page 1.