Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Home Truths

Writing a poem a day or even two for GloPoWriMo means I often have to scurry around for subjects. I've been doing prompt a day since August and it's no surprise that sometimes the same theme comes up. I've had Brexit twice, mythical animals, smells, colours about four times, pets, ect. I don't want to rehash old subjects unless I can really see a new avenue to explore, so I'm not holding myself back from looking at ideas that maybe feel a bit too personal or too close to the bone if they pop into my head for a prompt. 

I've often avoided writing about my family, my childhood in the past, not because anything too horrible happened, but it feels like it's not only mine to use. Many of the people I could write about are alive and might take my delving into past moments they are connected to as an invasion of their privacy. Others are dead, but living members might not like their 'dirty laundry' being aired in public, however limited the poetry reading public may be. I don't use names, but I guess if you know my family it wouldn't be hard to trace relationships.  

I published a poem in my first book about tracing my family tree through rumours and the characteristics I felt were passed down from one generation to the next. I made the mistake of sharing it with my ever-opinionated grandfather. He took exception to most of it, but it may have been the fact that I pointed out that there was a trend of sons not talking to fathers, which included himself, though I didn't mention anyone in particular. 

The truth hurts sometimes but I don't want to avoid it. I don't attack anyone, go out of my way to hurt them and, of course, everything is my opinion and point of view, but I do want to be able to explore difficult moments even if they might not be comfortable for those involved or myself for that matter. I don't need to try and publish them if they're too raw, but I want to be able to write them.

So I've waded into my childhood a lot recently. I noticed a decade or so ago how my grandmother, maiden aunt, even my mother would spend a lot of time together just revisiting the past, the good old days, the people they knew, the food they ate. It felt like such an 'old' thing to do when I was so caught up in the now, but I can now see there is some comfort in going back to favourite childhood haunts or bringing back cherished moments. And it also widens my fodder for my writing material.

That said I'm stuck for both prompts for today. 

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