Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Quote For Inspiration

       I received some cool gifts over the holidays, including this one from my fabulous daughter-in-law Jess. She created a little tapestry using various pieces of cloth sewn together. I plan to hang it above my desk so I can read the words, and let their wisdom inspire me, whenever I sit down to work. 

       Eliot's quote reminds me of a song by Harry Chapin: "All My Life's A Circle." It's true that many stories and poems bend in a circle. Think of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who dearly loves his house in the Shire, heading out on a great adventure in "The Hobbit" (I'm referring to the book, not the movie). Eventually Bilbo will return to the Shire, and when he does he'll understand his home in a new and deeper way.  

       This quote also makes me think of writing, particularly when you write memoir. Memoir allows you to return to a past event and, by writing about it, to gain a deeper understanding of what happened. This can be a powerful but also scary experience because you often end up making new discoveries about yourself and the people/events that have made you who you are. 


  1. When I read the quote, I immediately thought of Bilbo!
    What are your thoughts on memoir with elementary aged writers? I read something recently about how young students aren't far enough from the event to really consider how the event impacted their life - can't get the "so what" of it. This author said it's really personal narrative not memoir. I probably haven't made that distinction in the past.

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