I think writing is a family thing. My mama was a reader for sure, but I never thought of her as a writer. However, I could spot her writing a mile away - arched characters, stiff, solemn. I never knew my grandmother and I never heard my mama talk about her mother very much, only in quick anecdotes regarding her upbringing.
Going through boxes of photos and chests of keepsakes, I unearth three treasures. One, a short story called "The Bridge," written in my mother's handwriting. The faded yellow paper held together by a rusted paper clip held the aroma of yesterday. Almost 8 pages of carefully crafted single spaced story line, complete with dialogue and a moral. I don't know if this is original or if she copied it from her memory or a newspaper or magazine she found. Scriptural in tone, I'm fairly certain it was her Southern Baptist mantra landing on paper. For the two boys that found themselves in a situation that was the result of driving too fast around mountain curves would be the exact type of story I can see my mother sharing. Mortal lives ending in death but saved by their Heavenly Father. That was mama.
Remember those Blue Horse writing pads, the one with the visage of a horse covering the front on top of just enough advertising to make a young one question its coolness? Evidently, my grandmother, Mattie, wrote her life story in these writing pads. Each pad held one month; each page, one day. I found two months worth of memories, one dated January 1, 1945.
It begins "Bad wind this morning with rain. All gone back to their work. Rather lonely. Opportunities for 1944 are gone. I start on the new yr."
The entries are always one page, never more. Most of the time, the second line reads "Done my work." And the last line, a Bible verse that sums up the day.
On January 1, 1945, she ends with this: "Phil.3:13-14 comes to my mind. 'Brethren, I count not my self to have comprehended but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.' "
I would have like to have known my grandmother Mattie Logan. She is brief, to the point, not mincing words and never holding her heartache or joy back.
A lesson, I suppose, here. Begin the day by finishing your work first and end your day in leaning toward God"s grace. It'll make what follows much easier.
Thanks Mattie. I feel writing inspiration oozing from your words. There's work to be done. Time to get started. There are stories to be told.
Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.