The books I would write ....
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.
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?