I came across a bunch of thought provoking questions, which I thought would be great way to reflect via some blog posts during this week leading up to the aforementioned LANDMARK BIRTHDAY. Some of the questions are “meaning of life” kinds of things, others get you probing who you are and what makes you do the things you do. Some are very simple – although I do believe a simple and fast answer to a seemingly simple question can bring sometimes astounding and often deep answers.
Mostly I just think it will be a fun way to check into who this gal has become as she rounds 50, and maybe (hopefully) illustrate some of the things I’ve actually learned over these 50 years.
(I’m not going to tag you as one would do in your standard meme; but I would love to hear your answers to any of the questions – whether in the comments or on your own blogs. If you're so inclined – tag yourself!)
What does love feel like?
What made you smile this week?
What are your favourite simple pleasures?
Hanging laundry on the line. Clean sheets. Open windows. That first sip of coffee. Walking. The smell of dirt in spring. Rainy days. Lilacs. The smell of the woods. Barbeques.
What is your fondest memory from the past three years?
It has to be this party.
What book has had the greatest influence on your life?
If I had to narrow it down to one, I think it would be The Secret Garden. Certainly the first time I encountered that story I wouldn’t have known of the lessons inherent in it: that in the natural world one finds healing and true meaning in our existence; and that nurturing things/people outside yourself brings is what brings true happiness and fulfillment; and that beauty invites spiritual awareness and growth.
But now, having read that story a number of times over my lifetime, it's clear that my perspective and understanding of all these things is a major force in how I view the world, and how take meaning from my life and what’s happened in it. Occasionally, in my denseness, I need to re-visit these lessons – but they are lessons that I know deep within me. That story, The Secret Garden, beautiful thing number 34.
My friend Lisa did this list over at her blog That's Why today: "what fifteen characters have stuck with you throughout your life?" Like Lisa, I sort of think of these meme thingys as "lazy blogging" – but on the other hand, writerly types, particularly fiction writerly types, who give some thought as to what makes a character influential, can open the door to some potential writerly insight. Me – I'm not a fiction writer - I did it for fun. And probably to avoid finishing the piece on authenticity to which I alluded the other day, and which some of my kind friends say they are interested in reading. Let's just say that thought process is not complete.
So here's the prompt: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen fictional characters (television, films, plays, books) who've influenced you and who will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. As do most of these meme things, the instruction is to tag at least fifteen friends, including the one who tagged you, to do same and you can all sit in the cyber story circle with glasses of cyber (or not cyber) scotch and cyber cheese dip and share. Instead of tagging, I'm going to suggest that if you're reading this – whether on my blog or on my facebook, and you want to be tagged – consider yourself tagged.
The fun part of this process for me was discovering the recurring themes and traits around my characters, especially the "adventurous, capable, resourseful, indpendent" sorts. As this relates to my childhood favourites, I like what that says about me as a kid. Me as an adult? Well a certain friend of mine will probably repeat what he's said to me numerous times over the past months: you need a vacation.
What are your most memorable characters – and what do they say about you? I'd love to know.