Thursday, October 09, 2014

Voices



I spent September traveling around Arizona giving creative writing workshops, which was great fun, but I didn't get a lot of my own writing done and I'm way behind in my daily living tasks and kind of pooped, to boot. My darling husband, who has had some health difficulties over the past few years, is still dealing with some problems that are much less serious than others--but do have to be dealt with. So one of our latest coping mechanisms is that we have returned to doing yoga.

We "yoga-ed" a lot in our youth, but operations have precluded twisty sorts of exercises for both of us for nearly a decade. So as you might guess, Dear Reader, we've both become a heck of a lot less bendy than we used to be. We signed up for unlimited classes and thus far we've gone nearly every day in October. We only do the really wimpy classes right now, the ones where you lie on the floor and stretch. No standing on your head or winding your legs behind your neck. It's been great, and after a week of stretching things that haven't been stretched in years, I'm finally beginning to be able to rise from the couch without assistance.

It's strange what sort of things come to your mind while you're lying on your back in a dim room, listening to ocean noises and paying attention to your breathing. Thoughts arise from such a depth that I am reminded of things I would never have brought to mind of again. Sometimes I hear in my head the voices of people whom I loved but are long gone. I'm amazed when that happens. I haven't heard my father' speak for almost half a century. I can't consciously bring his voice to mind after so long. Yet he's still there. And my grandmother passed over in 1979. I had forgotten how she always sounded amused when she spoke. And she had the most wonderful accent. She was born and raised in Kentucky at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Her vocabulary was absolutely Elizabethan. When she went to garden, she put on her gauntlets and hunkered down over yonder. A gauntlet is a heavy glove, and if you were born in Kentucky in 1893, you pronounced it "GANT-let."

In a couple of weeks I'll be doing a talk on dialog for our local Sisters In Crime chapter. I often tell people in workshops that it's helpful to go to a public place and listen to people talk. You can tell a lot from their voices. Lately I've learned that if you're lucky, you can listen to people in the most private of places as well--your own past.

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