A memory triggered by a photograph of music by the firelight.
By the firelight we singalong. We’ve asked eldest to bring out his guitar and he’s become our karoke machine. He knows so many songs. But he doesn’t sing aloud with us yet.
Hubby sings the loudest, to the beat of his own drum, daughter and youngest sing louder to help him sing with their tuning.
I sing if I know the lyrics to the songs they have chosen.
We sing to the moonlit cane.
Once we even see a horde of runaway rats in the trees once the cane provides no more shelter. Perhaps they have come to hear us sing, and we need to employ eldest like a pied guitarist to take them back into the fields.
Eldest’s voice has been breaking, and he’s kept it a secret. We have no idea what it sounds like yet.
Sometimes I think I hear him…
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Very excited to have 250 pages of a draft book based on the blog Following the Crow Song – well on the way, it has three sections and a different secret working title. It seems to fit together well, Looking for some beta readers soon.
It’s under Mum’s bed to keep away the burglars. Mum’s companion and stand in body guard, connecting her to home is a short flat, fairly blunt blade gaining it strength from the way it’s held and thrust.
And yes we do get burglars, but I sleep through it whilst my heroic mum chases them away.
It’s the tool that opens up the bush for my Dad, the wanderer searching for his love, her Mum. Her people find him in the bush and take him into their hearts, by choice.
In the present – slash, bang and bash – it’s destroying the calm day of porters and walkers on a journey, disconnecting them forever from their desire for the Kokoda trail.
It protects, explores, opens up and threatens; its stories say, “Take care, I am shrouded in ambiguity. I am a way to farm your wilderness, lash out at those feared…
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I choose to speak in riddles.
The first time I wrote this post it had more overtly personal family stories in it, yet I backed away and thought I can’t write that post yet because I am grappling with a deeper question.
Which is truer, fact or fiction?
I have responsibilities to those I am going to write of, or be inspired to write characters for.
Do you remember the first time you learnt that history might be biased in the telling, that history told from the ‘victors’ point of view will usually portray them without critique? Growing up none of us wanted to be native Americans in cow boys and Indians, because they always died. That was the story around when I was a child.
Do you remember the first time you learnt of the enforced silences of cultures, women, countries, the disadvantaged, the non-canon,caused by the lack of publication or shared words, shared spaces to bring their stories into the open?
Do you ever worry about the authentic self? Who do I write as? Me? A narrator nothing like me? A narrator a little like me? A narrator who is an amalgam of all I know and can imagine and research as well. Are my stories real? Are they imagined? Will I stay in my comfort zone? Will I push beyond that and take you the reader with me? I am not traditional. I never can be?
I set about the story of fictionalising the real to approach a deeper emotional truth, to see the signifiers of my own life and of those in my life more universally and my story genre slips between real and not real, fiction, and non fiction. It is apparent that research is going to be needed to understand this story.
Is it as a simple as fact, non-fact? What do facts tell us? What is the deeper story? What are the secret stories? Are all tellers of tales true reliable? Why do they hide things? Do they demand of us change of names, and exact locations to ‘protect the guilty’?
Are there some stories I will never tell? How much disguise will I have to put on to ‘protect the innocent?’
This is more than theory, this is the story of second generation migrants, looking for home in heritage, space and story. This is the story of those whose new identity is made up of an environment where several languages are spoken at home, and sometimes there is no translator, Who want more than the simple definition of ‘she had to go home to understand,’ What is home?
Diaspora – it’s a long time since I thought about that word.
It’s the story of not knowing if you will ever decode the mysteries of those close to you who grew up in other languages, with other cultural codes, that you struggled to understand as you were encultured in their new homeland.
What are the dangers and perils of making a connection of becoming obligated? Will you think less of me if I never go into the birth land space, and why should that be so?
I am not confused, down-trodden, silent – I am seeking for the writing light, where I can present you the stories that have made me, and yet is that really me you might wonder?
They dance culture just for one night
my daughter accepted in
where I never felt welcome
why did I never feel that
and she smiles
as they dress her in the costumes
of culture they have reinvented
when they don’t have the right materials nearby
Is this copy real
All I know is I am happy for her
that she has a taste I was not given in this way
and is the making a journey to her bubu’s homeland
and yet I ask
Why did my mother never take us to her home?
Is she taking my daughter there now in the only
way she can
now her parents have passed on?
What is your idea of home or your authentic writing self?
She called me Paisa, respecting my PNG heritage before I fully did.
She was a proud Pom and had perfect Alexander technique poise.
We wrote in purple pens, a purple language, long before I knew of purple prose. Everything was ‘purple’ in our best friend world. She introduced me to Prince. Years later I would ask my eldest son to play me ‘Purple Rain.’
We played croquet as her brother played guitar. She was comfortable in her own skin, a stay up all night talker with a purple passion for life and chatter.
She loved photography and her dark room, and my simple one click, one setting Kodak felt like nothing in comparison. I wished I could be an artist like her. Because of her I first began to dream of photography, a dormant dream that took many years to wake.
At school camp we belted out all the songs we knew under the moon, just teenage girls finding freedom’s voice unafraid of anyone hearing us.
My mum felt she might be a bad influence, but let me write to her anyway when she moved away.
Turned out she liked what some might call bad boys, and wrote me letters of all those she met and pashed, long before I even thought of boys much.
She was every mother’s nightmare. She wrote to me to let me know she ran away from home, a final letter with no return address. I couldn’t write back. She took a moment to say goodbye and disappeared with her boyfriend over and hills and far away.
She was every writer’s dream – the friend who does everything you know you won’t and inspires you to create characters who don’t care what anyone thinks of them.
Everyone needs a friend who makes them unafraid of the world. Who says ‘awaken and dream.’ She was my first real best friend.
She called me Paisa.
Inspired by the Who Shaped Me project for ABC Open this month’s Pearlz Dreaming blog theme will be about the people who inspire me and there are lots of them!