19 Comments

THE MOVING FINGER WRITES


The moving finger writes and having writ moves on–and on–and on.

Children always want to know all your secrets; when they’re little, it’s your age, where you met Daddy, why did Daddy yell at you last night? When they reach the teen years they want to know when grandma let you wear lipstick and why can’t they? Or how old were you when you got to go on your first date. The date thing can get pretty personal the older they get.

What they really want to know is your feelings on just about everything you have placed in your mental vault. What you were thinking when you were in high school, or when you got married, or had babies. They want you to revisit your childhood to compare it with their own. They want to know your life.

My mother died over thirty years ago, and several months ago it troubled me that I couldn’t remember if she used cream in her coffee; so you can see how that goes.

Several years ago our daughter gave us each a large book entitled in large letters (so that we could see them) “MY LIFE”, with instructions to fill it out. We set them aside with arbitrary intentions.

A couple of months ago we met the same daughter and her husband for breakfast in San Francisco at the Delancey Street Cafe. I love presents and she gave my husband and I each a large nicely wrapped package. Naturally I ripped the paper off as quick as I could, only to find a familiar book–“MY LIFE”. Some people just don’t give up.

I started to write in it–I truly did. All the amazing ancestral forebears and their birth, marriage and death dates were duly entered with any scandalous information I could glean. Then I realized that it wasn’t that that she wanted, so I am beginning a memoir of sorts which I hope will be of interest to some readers.

Though I think my life has been quite ordinary, it has been long, and I’m counting on a lot more of it.

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19 comments on “THE MOVING FINGER WRITES

  1. I am sure it will be of great interest . I am most curious to read about anyone’s life but especially yours Kayti.

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  2. Thank you Gerard. My simple life doesn’t have the excitement of yours which I look forward to every post, but as I mentioned it may be of interest to some. I enjoy other people’s stories too; there are so many amazing tales. I won’t be beginning as early as you did, other than mentions that I had a childhood. (grin)

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  3. Isn’t it funny-strange how we each have our own starting points, our own blank spaces, our own “nope-not-gonna-write-that-down” moments? That’s part of what makes memoir so interesting, I think. We know that the memories are being filtered, but the filtering process itself — the choices that we make — makes for fun comparison.

    Your comment about having lived a simple life leaves me laughing. Your life seems to me so filled with creativity, and you’ve done so many interesting things. It will be fun to read your reflections. I suspect most people in the last third of life enjoy some reflecting. We’ve gained not only experiences, but the wisdom that lets us put them in their proper perspective.

    Well, when we’re not eating ice cream or walking the dogs, of course.

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    • As I’m starting to think about this, I’m trying to decide what to leave out. And obviously there must be filters. Everyone’s life seems more interesting than our own, which is a lot of ‘dailyness’ and not usually much ‘fight or flight’. I have been so very lucky and I’m grateful beyond words. I have lived a life so much better than my parents could have hoped for me.
      Speaking of ice cream–when you lived in the Bay Area did you ever go to Fenton’s Creamery in Oakland which has made incredible ice cream for 123 years? It is so difficult now to get to Oakland because of the traffic, but we have recently discovered a nice little ice cream shop right here in Niles which rivals Fenton’s making us very happy and hopefully not too fat to walk the dog.

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  4. Your comment about not remembering whether your mother took cream in her coffee is so poignant. I always depended on my mother to remember details of my childhood–until she was gone. As we get older, we lose the witnesses of our lives, one by one. It’s a consolation that the next generation wants to hear our stories.

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    • There were so many family members involved in my upbringing and each had a bearing on who I became. Now there is only one who is ‘a witness’ to any part of my early life; a dear ‘sister/cousin’. I love that expression “witnesses of our lives”. I’m trying to impress that upon my husband while his 91 year old sister is still here.

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  5. Your daughter seems to be a very sensible person! I am looking forward to reading it 🙂

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  6. I look forward to reading this. Are you going to write your memoir on your blog? Will it be divided by dates or events or chapters or people? If your blog is just the tip of the iceberg, I look forward to following your stories.

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    • If a memoir is a story about your life, I’ve been writing a bit of it now and then through the years in the blog, so I’m just going back and pick it up. Nothing too organized because me life hasn’t been organized. I’ll continue writing about things I find more interesting than my life, interspersed now and then.

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  7. Good. Your daughter’s persistence is cool. x

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  8. Looking back at old family photos, the most interesting ones – I think – are not those that are tidily posed, but the ones that accidentally show a soap powder box in the background, or a frayed teddy, or just a glimpse of anniversary roses. That small peak into a life is fascinating to me. We spend so much time in our own little bubbles, I love to read the blog equivalent of these photos, to peep into other people’s lives and understand how they came to be the people they are. I started my memoirs a few months ago, and it has been very enjoyable to write so far. I wish you all the best with yours! I will come back and read it 🙂 Mir xx

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    • I agree with your views of family photos Mir. One gets a little tired of smiling people staring at the camera. As in going to a home tour, the home with toys and memorabilia spread around is far more interesting than a showplace. Are you doing your memoir in your blog? I felt this to be the easiest in which to give information to my family. I will be interested in reading about you. Good luck to both of us.

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  9. Either that or I am easily manipulated.

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  10. Persistence is really the answer to most things in life. I am happy to know that it was my own that finally brought you to this point where you will begin telling me some of the things I’m yearning to know. There never really is enough time in life to let us really begin to know, and understand, the people we love the most. The fact that you like to blog is simply fabulous! Now, not only me, but the rest of the world too, can be entertained by the story of Kayti Sweetland Rasmusse. Blog on.

    Your loving (and curious) daughter,
    Cori

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  11. Perhaps it will encourage you to write your own book of experiences and good advice. You always promised. In turn, it may give Kate a shove to write her own as well. Just think–three generations of blabber-mouths. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

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  12. How nice your children are interested in learning more about you. I can’t imagine my teen sons asking me those kinds of questions. Maybe it’s a boy/girl thing. 🙂

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    • It maybe an age thing Carrie. This was promoted by my 64 year old daughter. (I hope she doesn’t mind my giving her age away.) I did 8 volumes of geneology on all branches of our families, and a grandson asked “What’s going to happen to those when you die?” Nothing like getting to the point. I told him there was always one in each generation who was interested; maybe it would be him.

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  13. Thank you Carrie. Coming from another mother it means a lot.

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