As I approach my 75th birthday and watch today’s younger generation trend away from “stuff” and consumerism, I find myself clinging tighter to my treasured possessions, many of which I have boxed up and moved from coast to coast to coast and countless homes between. I keep these things for the pleasure of their company, the stories they embody and their daily reminders of the people, places and events that have made me who I am. Inevitably I will have to let them go: with luck, one by one, or—at any age, but particularly mine—illness or accident might take them all at once. These days, however, I can stuff them into a thumb drive accommodated by any condo, RV, or hospital bed. I can pass them along on a key ring to my minimalist heirs.
My efforts to lighten up began this past year, during which I delivered numerous Subaru-loads to our local on-line auction house as well as several carloads of books to my brother and his wife for their antique business. I have donated further loads to thrift shops, the Bay County Friends of the Library book sale and Saginaw’s Roethke House for its children’s poetry library. Except for the mighty shlepping, this downsizing was easy—I no longer needed or wanted any of it. Should I have to leave my spacious house, however, crammed with collections and treasures, the parting will be more painful.
I am often urged to write a memoir, but where to start? How do I get past the boring too-muchness or not-enoughness of the I-was-born-and-then-and-then timeline? But now I’ve discovered this magic trick—pulling memories out of objects—so I not only have easy access to my own life, thanks to the endless subjects within arm’s reach, but my efforts may inspire others—you, perhaps?—to do the same. I’ve resolved that in 2017—for one year only—I will sift through my personal archeological dig several times a week and write at least a page. I will post my findings on my website, maryblocksma.com, with a link to my FaceBook page.
“Sounds like fun!” cries my inner child, jumping up and down at the door. We can’t wait to get going.
MEMOIR WORKSHOP NOTE: I share this New Year’s Resolution with you, my friends and readers, as a free 12-month memoir workshop. Begin by using my posts as a blueprint and soon you may find yourself zooming off on your own. Even one page a week will result in a satisfying manuscript. From time to time I will add a MEMOIR WORKSHOP NOTE like this one. If you like, email me your stories using the contact link on my home page or the reply option on your Postmatic subscription, and I will collect them. I may not respond much, but I will not edit, share or publish anything without your written permission.
Join me and my impatient artist child! Let’s see what we can create together in 2017.