Saturday, October 27, 2012
I've often thought of my life as a book. I think this way because I am trained in literature, and I'm not just talking about college. I really feel that my upbringing was a training in storytelling and listening. My parents and grandparents read to me constantly and told me their own stories, and for that I cannot thank them enough.
The first chapter is usually at the beginning of a story. But when I got this gift from Rita the other day, it got me thinking. Maybe the first chapter is not at the beginning of our lives. Maybe it comes later on -- a rebirth of sorts. I had been applying all this pressure on myself for so long because I felt that I was in my 28th chapter, because my book was closer to ending than beginning. But maybe I got it all wrong. Maybe this is the beginning; maybe there's a lot of book left. I feel like there are so many more stories to tell.
Right now I am reading (slowly) Joan Didion's "We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live." It's a compilation of ALL of her essays. I love the title, and I love reading through her life. I had a sad thought many days ago when I wondered if I was telling myself stories in order to get by. Fictions like "I will publish another book" or "I will make it as a writer" or "I will own a home and pay off all my debts." But Rita's gift reminded me ever so gently that there is time. It is one of my sincerest most deepest beliefs that the good Lord would never pull me from this earth too soon.
I love the soldered heart and that "Oxford" is under Chapter 1. It got me thinking about where the story all begins, and subsequently, where we come from. I think a whole new part of my life began when I went to school in England. And I think it began all over again when I started my job in publishing (where I was able to meet Rita and Jenny). And I have started anew now, with this current job, commute, and some other changes I feel are coming on in the near future (which I will post about as they come).
Jenny and I went out for celebratory drinks a week or so ago. The place we went to was Chapter One, in Santa Ana. As Jenny said recently, "Chapter 1. The best place for Manhattans in Santa Ana. And the best part of new stories."She has a point. While some endings are very satisfying and well written, the end of the book is never as good as the beginning. Because if you really love the story, you don't want it to end; you want to start all over.
Looking forward to the next few chapters ...