Jump

There is a funeral procession driving past my house.  A long, black hearse followed by another and another and another car swish through the street cutting the sun from my window in choppy stutters.

The weather is calm, almost warm.  Neighbors are hanging red and green and blue and yellow lights around their porches.  I can hear my youngest daughter’s music box begging her to sleep.  Or maybe that’s just me begging, culling more time for writing.

It has been a hard month for words.  NaNoWriMo came on its cold November horse and I followed with all my doubt and aggravation and wanting tied in a leather purse around my waist.  I wrote through it and with it.  I came to a cusp.

I have been angry, all-out furious, with my family for a very long time.  There’s a lack of understanding a young girl has when her family splits apart and says nothing by way of explanation.  She makes up her own stories.  Some of them are right.

There’s a selfish abandonment she feels when her siblings leave home, start their own families and return in sporadic bursts.

There’s the betrayal of her father leading her to wonder at love, to wonder at trust.

Then there are the fights, leavings on a cutting board, who doesn’t speak to whom and why–anymore, I don’t care.  And I am not afraid.

This is my story.

I have Ma’s photo albums I should return any day now, but when I look at them, I don’t see the us that was.  Instead I fall through the picture plane.  I hold my breath.  I stand in that kitchen again and I remember.

It’s eery really, and I can’t explain it any better.  I feel like I’ve been sliced from bow to stern.

Today I found a fragrance in any cheap department store aisle.  This scent is Ma 30 years ago, but more than that, it’s the house I’ve been seeing in my sleep.  Mix this scent with the smell of devil’s food cake baking in the oven and I’ve come back home.

How bad do I want to write this story?  I don’t know, but I see, feel, hear, taste and smell the story wanting to be written.  I’m ready for the risks. I’m willing to jump and I have my whole live-long life to make it happen.

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About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
This entry was posted in divorce, father, memoir writing, NaNoWriMo, penny jar, Weird and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Jump

  1. The power in your writing has me headed to the piano to play for a little while before I can sleep. That’s a compliment. . .

  2. p.s. Congratulations on your NaNoWriMo achievement. You must be wrung out.

  3. Lisa says:

    Victoria, a HUGE congratulations on NaNoWriMo! And an ever huger hug for this raw and powerful post.

    You have found your writing groove, my dear.

    Love,
    Lisa

  4. Mandee Sears says:

    Do it Victoria. It may be the only way you will free yourself of the angst. 🙂

  5. JoshuaRR says:

    Victoria-

    This post is unbelievably touching. Write that story, it needs to be told…

  6. It’s the voice in your writing that I love, one that grabs me by the collar and says “listen.” Like this: Instead I fall through the picture plane. I hold my breath. I stand in that kitchen again and I remember.

    Yes. With bated breath, I await your memoir.

  7. amanda says:

    Lovely post. Writing so intensely in such a short amount of time brings up a lot of emotions, doesn’t it? My husband is number 7 out of 10…would be interested to hear the thoughts of another “big-family-survivor.” Best to you~

  8. 2kop says:

    Yay for NaNo. A big “keep going” for the memoir. Anything that pulls you inside out is important to write.

  9. Ann's Rants says:

    Great post and huge congrats on nano. I’ve heard these stories are the ones we are supposed to write–the ones we don’t necessarily want to, or wonder if we shouldn’t.

  10. Beth Lowe says:

    Victoria, I’ve read this incredible post a few times now. I’ve cheered you from my desk, and I’ve gotten misty-eyed. What I haven’t done is come up with the right thing to say because it cuts too close to the bone — I’m not ready to be the conduit from that bitter well yet. You are so courageous: tell the story, my friend, tell the story.

  11. pennyjars says:

    Oh Beth, it’s all of you who are bringing me through this. As always, thank you.

  12. Paula says:

    OOOH thank you for sharing this. My mother passed earlier this year and I’ve been angry at the world since then. Not sure I’m ready to write it down yet.

    On a side note, I didn’t know Natalie Goldberg had another book out. I stumbled across one she did on her art work here a few months back and its pretty interesting. But I didn’t know she’d done the one on memoir

  13. pennyjars says:

    Paula,

    Thank you for your comments. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s the kind of thing you can’t know until you experience it. I’m sure it is terribly difficult. Right now I’m reading “The Late Bloomer’s Revolution” by Amy Cohen where she writes about the loss of her own mother and the terrible anger she felt. You may want to read it, it’s also lighthearted and fun, if you can believe it.

    And yes, “Old Friend from Far Away” has been out for some time. There are several writing prompts and ideas for memoir writing that are fun to do even if you’re not ready to write an entire book devoted to the subject. It’s good to hear from you!

  14. Victoria, What can I add to what has already been said? You surprise me every time I come across even a snippet (tweet) of your creative voice. Your honesty and direct approach, combined with a butterfly’s fluttering around, touching hearts, kissing a child’s head, whipping up a batter for cakes or tales. You go girl, you’ve got what it takes.

  15. pennyjars says:

    Oh, Judith, you are so sweet. Thank you for everything, here, there and everywhere.

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