Thursday, February 23, 2012
Living and Reliving
I have been writing my autobiography.
I call it, Impressions of My Life: Autobiography of a Recherché Poet.
Why such an odd title? When I think back over my existence my memory often lets me down or things come back somewhat as if in a dream. The mind begins to wander through a fog of days and months and years after a while. I can't always pin something down to an exact time. Sometimes I am not sure of the Five Ws, the who, what, where, why and when, let alone the how.
What I write is what I recall and this may only be impressions of what happened. I may see the events and the facts differently than others do or did. I only know what these eyes have seen or I've been told.
The Recherché Poet? I originally subtitled it "Autobiography of a Minor Poet," but my friend, the same one who pushed me to write my life, though it made me sound like I was a child poet. I meant it only as a poet who had a limited following and publishing history. He suggested changing it to "Insignificant Poet". Well, my ego vetoed that! I may not be the Poet Laureate of Delaware or anything, but I do not think of my poems as insignificant.
He then suggested, "Unknown Poet," but I am not completely unknown. Therefore, I choose Recherché Poet as covering most of the bases. It means, rare, exotic or obscure. You may take your pick.
So, if I have been doing this opus daily, why aren't readers of this or my other Blogs seeing it? That too was a choice I made. I am doing it on a private Blog. The Blog is not completely closed to readers, but it isn't being Googled about the Internet or advertised.
There are a couple of reasons. When I did decide I would do this, I also decided I would try to be as honest as someone can when spilling the beans about themselves. The first half of my life was not exactly PG rated. As Richard Nixon (a fourth cousin, by the way) famously said, "I am not a crook,," but I have not been a paragon of virtue either. I have broken my share of the Ten Commandments and partaken of the Seven Deadly Sins. My lief is not always pretty reading.
Now, if everyone would be completely honest, all of you could have written that last paragraph about yourselves.
A second reason is no one lives in a vacuum alone. People weave in and out of our lives. Life is a great tapestry of relationship, good and bad. If I am honest about my life, I must be honest about my view of those who shared in its making. Sometimes this is not flattering. Sometimes it is quite critical. I have no wish to offend anyone.
Someday when I get old (Ha!) and many others have passed on, I may open it up to general readership. For now all and sundry who to my knowledge have secrets or sins are safe.
Writing one's life may seem an ego trip, but I recommend it. It is very helpful in learning and understanding yourself.