Tag Archives: memory

Truth Better Than Fiction OR Vice Versa?

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” William James

And who isn’t wise enough to gloss over a few things when we tell our stories? Ah, but where is the line between applying a little wisdom and telling a story that never happened?

Movie poster Julie and JuliaI will confess that I loved the movie Julie and Julia, about Julia Child and a cooking blog by Julie Powell. I liked the idea that the movie was based on real events. That doesn’t mean that I expected every single detail to be true. That never happens. My husband and I can come home from the same dinner party and remember the evening entirely differently. Everything we do is colored by memory, expectation, our differing feelings and experiences. Not to mention whatever wisdom we’ve applied to the things we’d rather not recall. book cover Julie and JuliaNevertheless, when I picked up the book Julie and Julia and read the disclaimer that parts of the book had been fictionalized, I put it down again. As a reader, I didn’t want to wonder which parts.

logo The Daily BeastThe following article from thedailybeast.com argues that some true stories are better as fiction. I agree. I also like memoir. Mostly I want them to be clearly one or the other. However, wisdom aside, even that may not be as easy as it sounds. See what you think . . .



Filed under Life Story, Memoir, Memories, Movie, Personal Narrative

Time Capsules Lost!

imagesAccording to the International Time Capsule Society at Atlanta‘s Oglethorpe University, 90% of time capsules are never recovered–best estimate, 10,000 lost worldwide. We forget. We can’t find them. We don’t care. They’re too expensive to dig up. Name your excuse . . ..

The same can be said for family stories, family photos, other mementos.

crypt of civilization

Crypt of Civilization interior

We keep trying. The Crypt of Civilization, also located at Oglethorpe University, is a swimming pool size time capsule sealed in 1940 to be opened in 8113. The walls are covered with pictographs because it is assumed that by 8113 even the known languages of our world will be forgotten.

The future beckons. The day-to-day is hard to ignore. The past? What do we lose when we lose the past?

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Story Quote #8

Kitchen Table Wisdom“We carry with us every story we have ever heard and every story we have ever lived, filed away at some deep place in our memory. We carry most of those stories unread, as it were, until we have grown the capacity or the readiness to read them. When that happens they may come back to us filled with a previously unsuspected meaning. It is almost as if we have been collecting pieces of a greater wisdom, sometimes over many years without knowing.”  –Introduction to Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen M.D.

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Filed under Family Stories, stories, Story Quote, Uncategorized

No One Remembers Her Need

I know a family who handles hard times by referring to them as memories. “We’ve just made a memory,” they’ll say in the face of some new setback. Good strategy. No matter how bad it gets, they’re always richer in memories. 

Cars and Ranches Come and Go

Cars and Ranches Come and Go

In the 1920s, when she was in her 80s, my great grandmother, Sophia, decided automobiles were part of the modern world. A person had to drive to stay in the driver’s seat. With that in mind, she talked her youngest son, my grandfather, into giving her a driving lesson—one of the most talked about events in our family. Sophia, I’m told, was never a woman given to compromise. She was strictly all or nothing. In short, she drove with the same steely stubbornness with which she’d built the family ranch from scratch.  

Full gas. Full brake. Hard right. Hard left. 

 She scared the life out of every man, woman, child and rooster that happened to be around that day. No one has forgotten that morning, even those, like me, who only know it second-hand. Sophia never learned to drive. Supposedly that morning was the moment she knew she was old. Before that, she’d never met a challenge she couldn’t match. However, if she was old, she wasn’t defeated. Instead of driving cars, she bought cars. She bought cars for kids, grandkids, even some of the hired help—anyone she thought she might need to drive her someplace. What they remember is not her need, but her generosity. 

Those of us with less goods, don’t have to be less generous. Ranches, like hard times, come and go. Stories stick. If you have a story, you have something to share. If you have more than one story, you’re rich. If you tell your stories with a largeness of spirit, the world will sit at your knee.


Filed under Family Stories, Funny story, Uncategorized