It’s that time of year where nostalgia can grab you as the Christmas seasonal fanfair begins. But, I am in the middle of writing, the memoire/fictionalized version of my life story. I am feeling a tad freer from changing names deliberately, so that while the book will of course go public and be available for sale hopefully I will save my relatives from invasive problematical interest, or potential interest in the future. I am anticipating, this will feel my best work, because essential to biography or autobiography is some honest recounting of events. I was becoming very focused on loss recently, and also have started the ‘novel’ from a different time point, than originally planned. It looks a bit more logical though to go backward from a recent event that was momentous or devastating or life changing at the very least. An lo, springs an honesty, from the many things observed, and funerals, as well as weddings, bring family members together. I am now more hopeful about finishing this one sooner. I had to have a little time away from just typing up a story line, as Driftwood, also became an emotional burden, in part because I am an artist, and events are still current politically, and now even more so, the recent American elections are showing the turmoil and uncertainty of our age. So back to Looking For Pearls, and my fight to create something with some of the poetry side of me still coming through. I always think writing takes something of the energy of the interior spirit of a person as you go along, so that when you finish, you do feel like it is a kind of intellectual birth moment. I am feeling helped along this week, by staying home a bit, with the heating on, thankfully. Here’s a little extract of Looking For Pearls, it is loaded with emotional ups and downs as a book, but, my artschool years provide quite an interesting, backdrop to London, and the art scene in general. In the extract, I am harking back to my mother’s funeral. (All names are changed to protect identity).
‘There was tension within the family group and then her grandson, Martin, had told us he could see her, first at the church kneeling at the side alter, and then when we met at the wake. A teenager with second sight, though I am not sure how that happened, he had had visions since his youth. And he could see my son who had passed, and he could see my dad, who had passed, and he could see, my elder sister, and she too had passed.‘ extract from Looking For Pearls by Katherine Da Silva
I have had to live through about a decade of relatives, passing on. So it is all going to go in there somewhere, as life has to appear as real as it is. Though there is plenty of humor as our family, and hopefully my adult self had to cope with such a lot of striving, to make things happen. I am glad that TV today is getting so predictable and repetitive if only for creating the need and urge in me to make something different. In a way, the whole fictionalized future dwelling semi-scifi, genre, of recent film, has so much forboding attached to it. I too have my version of something like that, in ‘Battlefield’, this will eventually have a different title, but I have some stories up my sleeve, for the year ahead, well at least two or three story lines. The film Hope and Glory leaves us in the period in which it is made, and although this perfectly reflects a certain nostalgia, of a time when people pulled together, through rationing, and bombing raids, the parts I like most are the family exchanges, and rituals of eating together, from grandad to grandchild, all understanding their place, and all interacting.
I was bequeathed a few old photographs recently from the war period, and childhood of my mother. I was so pleased to be in receipt of them, as there is some wonderful historic element, in the styles of clothing and hats. My grandfather on my mother’s side had come from a farming family. And it is with some delight to remember that age, when families would expect to eat food grown in their own gardens. I think the twentieth century has gone so far into the financial element of material things, the era of the super store, that people, and community have truly suffered. My mother’s era, were much more family orientated, and everything especially during the war years of my mother’s youth, was home grown, and they had a small holding. And then of course they had the war to deal with, and for as long as I can remember, every now and then, my mother would become very thoughtful, about this period of her life, reliving the things, people went through.