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101 Things in 1001 Days: The books I would write ....

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The books I would write ....

...and this week its the books I would write... heres to FAMILY and DIVERSITY...

When I saw the prompt for this week my brain froze. Absolutely nothing came into my head as to what to write. It was far from the 'this is a fun stress-free brainstorming exercise' that was suggested in the write up. On the contrary, it had me biting my nails and scratching my head. In fact, I thought I would skip Sunday Scribblings this week. Yep, it was that bad. But never one to give up a fight easily, I decided to step away from my screen for a few hours (which turned out to be 24hrs!) and quit stressing about it. And I am glad I did because while in the middle of some mundane daily task, I had a light bulb moment and here it is...

The books I would write... will be about my family and the different individuals who make up who I am.

Ah, that's a little vain.
Perhaps not.

You might also say, puzzled, but there is nothing interesting about your family or your life for that matter. Ah, I would say in reply, there may be nothing interesting about my life but there is plenty interesting about my history.

As I grow older and take more and more interest in my roots, I am constantly amazed by the things I discover.

For example, the other day I asked my mum to draw up her family tree whenever she had the time. 'Oh, she said, 'your grandparents already did that. They had to before they got married because under the German Nazi rule, couples had to prove that they didn't have any Jewish blood in the family before they were allowed to marry'.

I just thought Wow! Wow! Wow! I NEVER KNEW THAT. As shocked as I was to hear this, I also found it fascinating. You mean stuff like this really happened - and this is part of my history? Not something I watch as a documentary on TV?

And so it is when I make my weekly telephone call home to my parents who live 6000 miles away - snippets of my history, my background, my heritage get dropped into conversation in such a matter of fact way. And when I express a hunger for more, my parents are genuinely surprised. And pleased.

My family comprises of these nationalities: German, Nigerian, British, Estonian, Jamaican, and when you dig even further - a bit of Indian and Chinese. How fascinating is that?! And we are still growing.

And I don't think I would write this book for public consumption - it probably won't be as fascinating to a stranger as it would be to me to read about my family and how it came to be so diverse. I will write this book as a beautiful gift for my daughter who is herself, made up of a mish-mash of three different cultural ethnicities. She is truly multi-continental child.

In it, she would read about her great great grandfather who was a gifted sculptor - one of his works stands in Berlin to this day, or her grandfather who traveled from West Africa to study in Europe and there met and married a German girl, her grandmother. She will be able to read about her cousins - who are Jamaican, Estonian, German, and African.

This is my history, her history, our history to be grabbed greedily and hung onto with all the strength I can muster. It is a rich and diverse heritage and one I am fiercly proud of. My family is living proof as well that people from across the globe can come together and be one. As the Jamaicans would say 'Out of many, one'. Isn't that just so beautiful?

So tell me, what better book to write?


Blogger Cate said...

Oh, I just loved this post. So often, people write for public accolades, and I admire you for the private reasons you give for wanting to write your family story--a gift for your daughter. Life, with its twists and turns, is truly the best inspiration--your family history is a rich and magnificent one! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! xo

Sunday, May 14, 2006  
Blogger Jennifer said...

sounds like an interesting and diverse history. your daughter would be thrilled to have a book like that.

Sunday, May 14, 2006  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Love the idea of writing the history story for your daughter; of embracing many continents; of extending the line of your rich family history - and creating more of your own. Fascinating!

Sunday, May 14, 2006  
Blogger AscenderRisesAbove said...

Your daughter would certainly cherish that... she might even write a story of her own to pass on

Sunday, May 14, 2006  
Blogger Brad said...

Truth - it is more than fiction - isn't it. Thanks for your insight and I love the look at history and how we are shaped by it.


Sunday, May 14, 2006  
Blogger ESB said...

your family history DOES sound fascinating.....

Sunday, May 14, 2006  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

"Out of many, one" I like that! I am going to be saying that...I can hear it ..out of many...one!


Sunday, May 14, 2006  
Blogger ian russell said...

the most wonderful stories are those close to home. i can imagine how amazing this revelation was to you - it certainly makes me wonder what it must have been like to live in nazi germany.

i enjoyed this very much - very well composed!

Sunday, May 14, 2006  
Blogger Onada said...

it would be great for your daughter to have that! it would give her a glimpse into your life before her and with her as a child that she wouldnt necessarily remember when she grows up!

Monday, May 15, 2006  
Blogger Cee said...

I think our own lives (and the history of our families) are fascinating, no matter who we are. There are always incredible stories, here and there, passed down through the generations. And the challenge of writing our own stories is to make them fascinating to the reader, while still staying true to our history.

For my 21st birthday, my mother wrote a history of my life so far, based on her diaries and many photographs, all beautifully presented in a book. It was the most amazing present I've ever received, and brought back so many wonderful memories. I'm sure your daughter will feel the same way about your family story.

Monday, May 15, 2006  
Blogger Laini said...

First of all, I'm sure there IS plenty in your life that would make fascinating reading -- I think that's true of everybody's lives, but sometimes it's hard for us to see from the inside because it's so normal to us. That said, your history IS fascinating. What a wonderful mish-mosh you are! And the story of why your grandparents had to write their family tree is so chilling -- that in itself seems to me like the seed of a story, a novel, the kind of tidbit that plants itself in a writer's mind and can lurk there for years until just the right sunshine and water find their way to it and make it grow and sprout leaves. I'm glad you pushed through and didn't skip this week!

Monday, May 15, 2006  
Blogger a•pril said...

Your post makes me want to explore my family history some more! It is certainly a fascinating and insightful thing to learn of the times and accomplishements of our ancestors. (And to think you thought you had nothing to contribute to this week's S.S. challenge!)

Monday, May 15, 2006  
Blogger boliyou said...

Writing isn't always for public consumption. Sometimes it's to give voice to thoughts and memories and hopes. This is a perfect gift for your daughter.

Monday, May 15, 2006  
Blogger Living Part Deux said...

This is a wonderful post - and your initial response much like mine. I think your family history sounds extremely fascinating. What a great gift to give your daughter, and what an adventure you would embark upon in the writing! Good luck!

Monday, May 15, 2006  
Anonymous hundred and one said...

Thank you for all the kind comments. I enjoyed this weeks prompt very much afterall - and it's made me even more determined to dig deeper into my family history.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006  

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