Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Learning, practicing, and friends from faraway


When I picked up Natalie Goldberg's book on writing memoir, Friends From Faraway, I wasn't intending to write a memoir, not seriously anyway. Neither did I realize the title was a saying of Confucius. The poem, from which this line is taken, loosely translates to:

We learn, and practice what we learn.
What joy.
Friends arrive from faraway.
What happiness.

[It is a lot more elegant in the original;)]

Coincidental or not, this is the book I am reading as I return to my childhood home, reminisicing with family and old friends, reconnecting to the language of my youth.

Every trip I've taken since leaving home twenty five years ago has taught me something about my family and myself. This trip is no different. And as with other trips, the process is filled with nostalgia, moments of epiphany, and occasionally, sorrow.

The thoughts and emotions from this trip will work themselves out in the next months and years. Maybe I will be writing a memoir after all.

2 comments:

tanita davis said...

Wow -- go Y2! While we work out our memoirs in our heads, we often encounter single moments which are best fictionalized -- so even as you head for memoir, you find fodder for fiction. Sounds perfect!

Yat-Yee said...

You're right, Tanita, those single moments are the ones that have the biggest impact and can often be much more powerful when presented as fiction.

But, definitely fodder. If my luggage is overweight, I'll blame it on that. :)