Edith Hamilton, The Greek Way
Aha! That's it. That's the whole purpose of my life, I think. Or at least, my online journal writings. Who needs all that sturm und drang, and even more, who wants to look back and read about it, years from now?
Oh, I've written down-right down and depressing entries, of course. When I first starting writing my online journal, way back in 2002, my first few years were all about the crumbling of my marriage to Josie and my first hesitant steps into the world outside, on my own. Not the cheeriest of subjects, frankly, which is why, try as I might, I've never been able to go back and read it from beginning to end. It's just too sad for me.
Instead, it's the moments of silliness and celebration that I've preferred, and frankly, which I think I have more of an inclination to write about. In fact, one of my first online journal entries was about a giant plant that lived at the Homestead on our deck, and some insane tall tale about how it went wild and one day and grew vines that wrapped themselves around Josie, attempting to drag her down underneath. Freudian symbolism abounds, certainly, even up to the ending, where I discover a secret passage, hidden underneath.
Those are the stories I go back to, time and again, because they have a lightness of spirit that I find attractive. That, and my "power statements," such as the story about how Josie and I first met, and what she means to me, or the story of sexual abuse in the showers during junior high...nothing light in spirit about those, although they both have messages of hope contained within, about how it's possible to overcome even the worst of adversity and prosper from it.
Even so, I'm keenly aware that the way I tell my story is a bit different, and that not everyone is as obsessed as I am about turning the "little pleasures that daily living holds" into the fabric of the stories they tell. Many people use their blogs to wax political, or make things intensely personal without regard to others (an audience of one). Or, they skip the personal altogether, and use their space primarily to discuss anything BUT their personal life. Or, they try to focus their stories exclusively on one aspect of their lives: those who focus on how they raise their children (and usually how well they do at it), or on their life in writing. I can't be constrained like...my stories could be about my kids, could be about my life with Corb, could be political, could be about theater, could be about nothing. A high spirited people do not obey so easily. And do not focus so narrowly, either.
One could call my material myopic in nature, and perhaps it is. But, it's what I do. Since I first started keeping journals, actually, when I wrote in the third person, and attributed the stories to the author "Vern Slater." My interest has always been on celebrating the every day, the mundane, the trivial matters in my life and those around me. That's my fascination, and it's a fascination I've increasingly chosen to embrace.
My dear friend adrianaendless has taken to calling me a gypsy, because she feels that my style of writing the stories that I write are akin to that a gypsy telling a story around the fire. I think there's an element of truth to that, and I find it flattering. But in reading The Greek Way, I'm struck by how much of who I am has been influenced by a culture that I never really knew much about. My grandfather came to America as a Greek orphan and died when my father was 12, so I never really knew him nor did I have family members that I could reach out and connect with. However, likes those vines that entangled Josie, what lurks beneath has always held quite a strong pull, and the secret passage underneath has been informing my life since the very start.
Oh, and I'm usually deeply in debt, too. There's another thing I can attribute to my Greek heritage.
Note: today's photo is me, one Halloween. Five, maybe?