What’s Your Earliest Memory?

“Memory is the diary we carry around with us.” –Oscar Wilde

What’s your earliest memory?

Mine is when I was two years old.  I had bone surgery to correct a concave chest, so it wouldn’t grow too close to my heart.  Afterwards, I wore a cast from my neck to my hips.  I don’t recall anything of this hospital experience other than one moment in time when I tried to get a drink at a hospital water fountain.  (or in what we Southern Wisconsinites call a bubbler)

On my tippy-toes I perched, my mother pressing the handle of the fountain for me. My mouth open, the water streamed in front of me, just out of reach.  My tears flowed as fast as the water.  Mom picked me up, but the bulky cast was in the way.  No matter what angle we tried, it seemed I couldn’t get my mouth any closer.

I’m sure Mom found a cup so I could quench my thirst, but both she and I knew that it wasn’t the point of a bubbler.  Half the fun of bubblers are the uniqueness of the experience. 

And so we approach our writing in unusual ways to provide a unique experience for the reader – - and the writer.  If at first it doesn’t work one way, we try another.  Another voice, another place to begin, another conflict or character quirk. We may get frustrated along our journey, but at some point, we’ll either find the ah-ha moment and rejoice, or move on to another project.  Sometimes it just takes time to wait and find the place within yourself to discover that ah-ha moment.

May you always find the ah-ha moment in your work and if you don’t, at least learn something in each and every journey.  I think the reason I remember the bubbler incident is I learned a lesson that day.   Sometimes you don’t get what you want right away.  After the cast came off, there was the joy of many bubblers for me. 

May you have a joyful bubbler kind of writing day. 

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