Home » Diary of A Memoir Writer » Diary of a Memoir Writer: Week Five

Diary of a Memoir Writer: Week Five

Because so much of our life is spent in a variety of commonplace activities, the search for small things forgotten is “central to the work of historical archaeologists …Chipped-stone axes made hundreds of thousands of years ago and porcelain teacups from the eighteenth century carry messages from their makers and users. It is the archaeologist’s task to decode those messages and apply them to our understanding of the human experience,” Deetz says.

Something More by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Everyday things have been on my mind this week. I found myself writing about how we use to do laundry as a child.  Man I wish I had a picture of our spinner, of our washing machine and dryer that sat and took up a third of the space in the kitchen.  We ate beside our laundry appliances everyday.  We used it has counter space too.

Then there are little things like dad sitting on a chair in the kitchen lacing up his old worn in work boots.  As he pulled those laces tight around his angles, his wool socks with the red trim sticking out of the top, I recall thinking how thin his legs looked when he seemed like such a husky man.  It seemed out of balance.

Balance led me to thinking about my ‘area’ in my room.  This area needed balance.  What did I have on the desk that served as my space? All I recall is that if there was some item on one side of the desk I needed another item of equal size on the opposite side.  Or jut one thing in the middle.  I am obsessed with balance.  Not just with things but in life as well.

Trinket, Woodpecker Toothpick Holder

Small things like a little woodpecker that could pick up tooth picks that hung out in the cupboard by the livingroom or the thick book of stories and an orange dictionary that we looked at occasionally in the same cupboard.  There were so many treasures in the cupboard.  I want to go through it again.  I believe mom and dad had some memorabilia from their wedding in there too.  Can’t remember what exactly.

We don’t think to take pictures of these everyday things.  They seem so boring and mundane. Really, who takes a picture of their laundry room?  Well I am going to right away. I am going to take pictures of a bunch of mundane stuff around me that shows how I live daily.  I will put it in a folder titled “Daily Stuff” so I can add it to my memoirs when I am old and want to write about this time of my life.  Who am I kidding.  I write about this time of my life right now.

Not the sexiest room in the house.

Not the sexiest room in the house.

Capture the silly boring ordinary things and spaces of your day. If you can go back to your childhood home take some pictures there too.  It may prove to be worthwhile. In this day and age of digital photos these pictures take up a bit of your time and space on your hard drive but that is it.


2 thoughts on “Diary of a Memoir Writer: Week Five

  1. This is so timely for me. I have just been thinking about this lately and everyday I try to take at least one picture of something mundane around my house, yard, etc. thank you for this.

  2. Nice washer & dryer!

    The mundane huh? The things…let’s see, I’ve been remembering the “dutch theme” my mother used when decorating our old house on Glenn Street, wooden shoes and windmills…I’ve written about it but I need to be sure I can find it…(or else I might need to write about it again/more)

    Just yesterday I purchased a ceramic “dutch girl” at the 2nd hand store by my house and bought it so that I can start a dutch theme too..

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