Sunday, March 1, 2009

narrative immersion

I took Ana Castillo's one day memoir workshop yesterday at SDSU. There were about 16 women in the class ranging in age from their twenties to sixties. I took a lot of notes but my head is still spinning from all the information and all of the sharing.

As I sat listening to the women tell their stories and what they want to write about I thought about how humans have a need for narrative. We are are all natural storytellers. I wonder if it is a part of our evolutionary make-up. Think about it: early humans had the desire to communicate information to their offspring in ways that would help their offspring relate to their environment and society in ways that would help them survive. Maybe it was so important to our development as humans that storytelling is something we will never rid ourselves of.

Along those lines I was thinking about ritual, how it is handed down through the generations, along with culture. I thought of this specifically pertaining to my essay on religion. I realized there was a lot more going on in me that I had previously thought. Will the digging ever cease? I feel like my own personal can of worms. So many thoughts flying around in my head, so many permutations of ideas that my dreams were staccato and exhausting last night. I wonder if we are at times unhappy because we feel punished by the myth of what should be.

My brain is firing too fast for me to keep up this morning. Maybe one cup of coffee is enough.

Yesterday the last writing exercise we were given surprised me a little bit. The beginning of my novel is the same exact exercise. But I'm not going to change it. Yet, or maybe ever. I had a couple of big revelations about my main character this week and my heart flew out to her. I want to buy her a drink (when she is old enough) and tell her a thing or two.


Nothing But a Heartache
The Flirtations

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