A question of legacy

What Mel Did - Melinda Fargo
Photo credit: Hart Fargo

As reading material goes, I’m not big on biographies or memoirs. (The exception so far to my rule is ‘The Glass House’ by Jeanette Walls.)

I guess these missives can be an accurate record of someone’s life, loves and losses but, intellectually, I always wonder. Wonder how much of the material is geared towards pleasing editors, publishers and market forces. How much of a life has been underplayed or exaggerated in order to ‘make the numbers.’

Then there is the sticky question of those who know the author intimately. My next ponder, then, is how much detail is included or excluded to not piss off family and friends. Certainly, I would need to kill off a number of people in my own life before setting pen to paper in memoir memories!

And this is my muse today why? Because an older friend is thinking about putting her life down on paper as a way of legacy. She assures me I too will one day feel the same urge.

I’m not convinced.

As a blogger and freelance writer, I feel this itch may already have been scratched. That I have already started the process.

If I die tomorrow, my children have a place they can visit to re-hear my voice. My blog represents my beliefs and continuous learning. For sure this blog is not all of me, but when I do set down the parts I share, it is a true if changing record of who I was and am now. It is my truth. Another reason I regret burning my youthful diaries. The journey from then to half a century later would have made interesting reading. Maybe.

But my thoughts on exactly the legacy I want to leave, however, was clarified when I recently heard a long-ago favourite song by Diana Ross. The lyric snippet below says it all for me:

“Remember me as a breath of Spring. Remember me as a good thing.”

 

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3 Comments

  • I know Reva Unterman who wrote “The Rabbi’s Daughter.” There were a number of explicit episodes in it that many of us thought unnecessary. She said that her editor required these scenes – it was either comply or not get published. And my friend’s father wrote the history of the Sunderland Jewish community – an enormous tome covering 100 years, focusing on the five main families who all came from the same shtetl in Lithuania and all intermarried. It was fascinating but those in the know say that loads was left out or diplomatically nuanced to save embarrassing or shaming anyone. So all in all, I agree that it’s best to just write: Remember me as a breath of spring and a good thing.

    • Gosh, such fascinating people and histories. I guess the only true rendition of a life is the ones we write secretly, in a lockable diary, buried in a safe deposit box underground! Not that I have one of those, honestly! Have you ever thought of writing a memoir? Mx

      • I don’t have the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady material. It would be more like the Diary of a Nobody and that’s already been done. I think my blog is fulfillment enough in that direction, although you have made me think about maybe writing more stories from my childhood and past life on the blog.

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