I have a pile of documents, notes, thoughts my late father left behind him. Some of them are clear and precise, some are disjointed, puzzling, even mystifying. Still, they present an opportunity to create some meaningful writing about a life that possessed something that is worth writing down, from a man that was very eloquent when he talked but was never able to turn his life stories into something that was truly readable.
The first thing that comes to my mind confronted with exploring documents, notes, whether they are official records of some sort or personal, belonging to somebody you know or family is probably — old. But, that is probably just the surface behind them. After all, they don’t really have to be that old, they could be something that pertains to something that happened just a few moments ago, or a thought written down that has no time definition.
How do you approach these, records, memories, thoughts when you want to transform them into thoughtful, cohesive writing. Do you just stick to the “Old”, like in that not so well known Paul Simon song, or are you in the realm of “Into The Mystic” that more known one by Van Morrison?
Like with all things that passed, memories, you enter the territory of interpretation and viewpoint, and it certainly depends on the question of the writer’s approach. How do you tackle facts and views, even your own when you want to delve into writing about them?
The dilemma lies somewhere between ’sticking to the facts’, relying on some sort of data that is presented in those ‘documents’ and interpreting them from your personal standpoint, or even using them just as a springboard that will take you ‘into the mystic’, a set of events and explanations that are really existing only in your imagination.
Most of the time though, unless your writing is just the strict ‘setting the record straight’, there is no dilemma. It is all of those, and even ‘setting the record straight’ is not that straight, unless you are talking statistics. The question that constantly comes to my mind is — what are all those documents, notes, memories thoughts telling me about those who recorded them, my father, and what are they telling me about myself. Maybe then that ‘mystic’ I’ll be entering as a writer might be less mystifying.
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