Wednesday, December 2, 2015

We Write from Memory, for Memory and Sometimes to Memory

Memory is essential for everything we do. We learn through memory, understand through memory, forgive and even forget by way of memory. We revisit our past and consider our futures all through memories built from ours and others recall.

Recently, chatting with H. M. Jones whom I met on GooglePlus just a week or so after reading her book Monochrome (filled with the underpinnings of what motherhood is, not to mention the very important feature of memory) got me thinking back on the other avenues of writing I had taken.

Jones invited me to consider submitting a poem to a women's online anthology she has started up to give a voice to women finding publication difficult. I haven't tried to publish any poetry in many years, so I was surprised at how intrigued I was by the opportunity.

Memory: I remembered my pregnancy-inspired poetry from nearly twenty years ago.  I am certain her book and the various topics we touched on in our discussions were the trigger. I checked out Jones's Brazen Bitches anthology link on her H. M. Jones Writes website. I knew instantly which one of my poems belonged among the selection she had already posted.

I searched for the one I had in mind within my file of long packed away poems. It was just as I remembered it. I returned to those strong maternal feelings for a child yet to be born and realized that my daughter had reached the age when seeing this poem inspired by her beginning would show her what my hopes had been and what they still are.

I sent "Sister Clytemnestra" to H. M. Jones and held my breath that it was ready to speak for itself.

Memory: without it writers have nothing to give. It is through memory that we find a way to speak for those not yet ready to voice for themselves or not yet filled with remembering or the remembered.

When Hannah Jones (H. M. Jones) let me know that she would be adding my poem to the anthology, I felt exuberant, and the first thought I had was that my daughter must see this poem.

I have to admit I was more excited to show her than she was to see it. But she did read it and we talked briefly about its origins and inspiration. I was expecting a, "Gee, mom, you really were thinking about me."

That's not what she said though. She saw familiar mythology, and remembered texts she has read and studied.

I had forgotten she was an aspiring/growing writer herself. I realize now it will be a bit before the intent of the poem and its direct connection to her rises past the other aspects she was more focused on noting.

My daughter is a designer/engineer at heart. What grabs her attention fits more under the vocabulary of "foundation," "process," "structure," and "skill." She was busy dissecting not appreciating.

But I remind myself of memory. She will remember after a bit that the poem I showed her belongs to her more than anyone else. It may speak to others, but it was speaking to her long before she was listening. And one day, she will get past the what of it and see the intent I had that she become the women that she has grown into without ever knowing that was my wish until it had already happened.


No comments: