The Things We Leave Behind

September 4, 2016 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The things we leave behind — buildings, people, experiences — rarely disappear altogether. When we look back, we find ruins. Remnants. Echoes.

Hope Chest

I’ve moved a lot since I graduated from Grade Twelve. At least twenty times. I downsized every time! I gave away things. I gave up things. I sold things. I lost things. I don’t miss most of those things.

I gained as much as I lost!

There are two things I miss.

Two manuscripts.

Words. I miss words.

Words that I wrote.

The first is a short story I wrote when I was sixteen; there was an unicorn and a black rose in it. For years after, I searched out information on black roses. (This was before the internet). Were they possible? Could you grow pure black roses? This was a topic I researched from 1975 until the 1990s and I still don’t know the answer. I know you can create black roses by dying them. I know that there are red and deep purple roses that will look black in certain types of light. But to grow a genetically perfect black rose; still impossible I fear.

But back to the story. I sent it into Seventeen magazine. I got back a form rejection slip with a very encouraging note written on it in someone’s handwriting. I’ve lost the note as well. I remember thinking “Now, I am a writer!”

The second of my words that I lost was a romance novel.

I wrote it as an experiment. I wanted to see if I could write 50,000 to 70,00 words. This was the length of a Harlequin romance novel back then.

My first draft. My only draft. I write shorter now: blog posts, essays, memoirs. I’ve not attempted anything longer. Maybe I will. Maybe this November. It was a typical 1980s romance. It was probably staid and priggish. My friend Twyla liked. She was the only one who read it. I did nothing with it.

Though, it might be in my hope chest. So might the short story.

I’ve moved the hope chest here, there and everywhere but I seldom explore deep in its depths. There are bombs in there – my wedding pictures, my parent’s after-divorce letters and other such emotional flotsam and jetsam!

I try to stay away from bombs even though there might be treasures also strewn within the minefield!

Thus, these things I’ve left behind may never be found!

Image result for bomb emojiImage result for explosion emojiImage result for bomb emojiImage result for explosion emoji

I was born in 1949, and by the time I was 10, I figured out that my hope chest was not aimed in the same direction as everybody else’s was. And that life was going to be very, very complicated. And that I could either be provocative and declamatory, or shy, retiring and scared. ~Dorothy Allison

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