Saturday, July 14, 2007
"Only hens lay!"
Mother knew how to use the language. Living with her was like living with your English teacher.
She always had her nose in a book, and you weren’t particularly welcome in her presence when she was found thus. In secret, she wrote. Short stories and poetry. She stuffed them all away in various hiding spots, only to be discovered after her death.
As a pre-teen I loved to write. One school year, there was an English teacher who generously read my extra-curricular fiction. He liked it. I kept adding chapters. He liked them too.
One day I decided to show the fledgling work to Mother. She hated it. Hated. It.
I never wrote another word of that particular story, but, in time I began to write other things. Secretly. Short stories and poetry. I stuffed them away in various hiding spots, all were lost in my migration to Australia.
Many years later, I ran into that English teacher, and he asked me if I still wrote.
Many more years later, I had a small epiphany. What criticism of her own work had she received that drove her to keep her writing secret? Perhaps Mother’s reaction was purely a learned response.
What discouragement did you receive? Imagine if they just didn’t know better. Be Free.