Saturday, May 11, 2013

The honest truth

When I tell you I have lived an exciting life, I am not lying. (lioning? heh)

People have asked me if I think writers are born or made. Me personally I think it can be done both ways. My Great Tiny Grandma might have opened that conduit in me when I was barely five years old and sitting with her listening to the story's behind the pictures in her family album. Each summer she would bring them and we would go through them. I loved to listen to the stories behind each one.

"That is Elaina and my dad's snake Satan." She said, pointing to this picture.

She turned the page and there was a picture of her dad kneeling in brick rubble next to a safe, with the door ajar. He had a strange look on his face, he had just returned from the future to find his house destroyed.

"That is my dad." she lovingly cooed. "He was an inventor. Did I ever tell you he invented a time machine?"

The hair stood up on my arms.

What ever barriers may have been within my soul and mind at the time, blocking the path to a writers life, strained against there tethers  like hungry dogs awoken by the wet smell of blood. "Honest?"

"Honest truth" she whispered glancing about to make sure no one was listening. "We had a zoo in our back yard and he use to go places and come back with stuff."

She flipped back a page to the lady and the snake. "The future is where he found Tina he brought her back to pose with Satan and then returned her."

My developing writers mind was now whirling like a bucket of eels. In the stillness of my mind the sound of my beating heart reverberated in a ominous pounding. I could taste the thrill on my tongue ..wait a minute. "I thought you said her name was Elaina?"

She chuckled."Doesn't matter, she has been captured and is now being held prisoner in my photo album."

My mind lurched and something deep within me opened and fell inwards. My vocabulary not big enough to label it or fully understand the ramifications. But instinctively knowing her words had redirected my destiny.

Her father indeed was an inventor  and a photographer. The family albums are sprinkled with the photos of his models posing with Tiny Grandma and or his birds and snakes. Tiny Grandma over the years would tell me different stories about them each time we looked though the albums. Most pictures were not labeled, so when she died the family got together to do that. That is when we discovered, she told all of us different stories. The photos remain unlabeled, because beyond the fact that its a model, we have no idea who these beautiful mysterious women are.

My generation is the last to know this truth. The next generation will inherit these books and go on living hence forth, thinking they are related to those women.

This photograph is in my album. When you turn it over it reads in my 5th grade penmanship. "Jar and me"

When I was eleven I found a photo album at goodwill. I opened it and saw this picture. IT FREAKED ME OUT. Those were the exact shoes I was wearing at the time. My hair in the same style, it was like an alternate universe existed and I was peeking into it. That was some other place and time.

I slammed the book shut and bought it and took it home with me. I trimmed off all identifying stuff on it and signed the back, showed it to all my friends, spun a few yarns about me and Jar, and then stuffed it in my photo album. Where it has laid (lied? heh) ever sense.

No one but you readers here today know the truth.

This photo is in my album as well.

This is the last time I saw Tiny Grandma. You want to know what we are smiling about?

 We were preparing to leave after the visit and everyone was saying their goodbyes. I had leaned into her bed and laid my cheek on her soft cheek and whispered to her. "I will see you yesterday!"

As I pulled back she squeeled and clapped her hands with pure joy. Delighted to discover that it was I who had inherited her dad's time machine.

That's the truth.

Or maybe its the honest truth....and the student has now become the master.

1 comment:

  1. Yes I have the book and my G-ma told us all different stories but I know a lot of them to be true as she lived with me for awhile I would find her with both of my partners girls in a corner of the room telling them stories and they would all giggle and change the subject when I came into the room. Paja has the skills of writing and I'm proud of her as I certainly did NOT get that trait from the family tree but I did receive the love of animals and photography from my great grand dad. J