Sunday, February 01, 2009

theme worthy?

As you may have picked up on (or not), I am enrolled in a memoir writing program that started in early January. Just this morning it dawned on me that as a by-product of that, I am not just enrolled in a class, I am indeed writing a memoir ☺. Brilliant, huh?

The problem when you announce this is people immediately want to know what your theme is (other than the obvious, “It is about me.”) The great thing about the process of this class is that we are not required (yet) to know our theme. We are simply encouraged to write and write and write about what comes to mind and weave this in with other exercises and somewhere along the way, our theme is going to pop out like magic. The odd thing is that I actually believe this. So, I am just going to keep writing and doing my exercises.

Now, it’s really not quite as random as all that especially since I have been free-writing for nearly five years and there are definitely themes that show up again and again and again. So, I decided I would share where I am today (knowing full well that it could change by this afternoon). Here is a poem I ran across this morning. It popped out of the book, jumped up and down, and waved her words yelling, “ME, ME, ME, Look at Me! I could be your theme!!”

The Uses of Sorrow
Mary Oliver

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

Theme worthy? What do you think?


Hope said...

I like it.
I like Mary Oliver's stuff.

Kate I said...

Lucy, this poem is wonderful and I think so many of us can relate to it. I'm glad you included it in your post today.

Writing a memoir is such a lovely gift to give yourself and ultimately to your family and future generations.

I recieved "Grace Unbound" the day before I left for Mexico so I brought it with me to read. It's so beautiful! Bill's photographs and your words together, have created a joyful and light filled gift of grace. Thank you!

Dianna Woolley said...

Mary Oliver's words are often meaningful to me too. As a theme though, and you did ask.....I might be more interested in "Emerging from Sorrow", if indeed you want sorrow as a theme.

I see your life as so much fuller and exciting than sorrow might indicate. You have time to select a theme for later, right?

Like the photo:)

Anonymous said...

Gotta love Mary Oliver, she always hits it just right. I am so deeply glad you are giving this process as gift to yourself and trusting where it will take you. I am a big fan of writing about all things sorrowful in meaningful ways, so you have my vote. :-)
Love, C

lucy said...

thanks, hope (btw, i love your name :-)

kate - thank you for the encouragement and i am so glad you are enjoying 'grace unbound,'!

SS - it is curious to me that you landed solidly on the "sorrow" piece of the poem. i was considering it more as a whole with my focus being more on "the gift". journey stuff, you know? xoxoxo

C--i so appreciate your support. you asked about "title"...i can't even land on theme :-)

Anonymous said...

My first response to someone writing a memoir is not what is your theme - obviously I know nothing about the process. I would think determining a theme too soon would make you filter what you're writing and limit the possibilities. I suppose you would naturally write about whatever you feel strongest about whatever that is at the time you write. Of course eventually you'd have to choose to give some cohesion.

Darkness allows us to appreciate light - that is my take on the poem - that is why it is such a gift.

Karen said...

Ooooo....nice one. I'm intrigued by where you're going with this!

Dianna Woolley said...

Hi Lucy - I suppose I got stuck on the title and didn't move beyond that.....I understand that going to dark places or recognizing the goodness of re-visiting sorrowful places is tantamount to our growth as an hb:)

I might land on the side "difference a year"'s comments re if deciding a theme too early could direct one's total work "sooner" than one wanted it to.

Anyway, the memoir writing process sounds like a great one and one that you are enjoying and that will ultimately bring a great deal of happiness and clarity into your grow, growing, growth being.

Keep us posted on the process.

xoxo from a faithful reader:)

Anonymous said...

From Potter,
there is hope found here. thank you for bringing who you be.

Sue said...

Themeworthy? Uh ... yeah. For, like, 16 different books. Great theme, methinks Lucy. Full of possibilities.

And the word verification for this comment is "spine"


Anonymous said...

I can relate, it is hard sometimes to see the bad as well as the good is a blessing in our life. Being able to realize that has helped me along on my journey.

Unknown said...

I LOVE MARY OLIVER!!! I love this theme too! Brilliant!

I too am in a Memoir writing class for my Masters great that we are both on the same journey miles apart and how appropriate that we are able to share our lives with each other and even without a theme...LOL!
Cannot wait to hear more!

Danny said...

Strangely I posted this Mary Oliver quotation today as I have come across it on several blogs recently... then here it is too... and most definitely theme worthy... it works on so many different levels.