Almost every hour of almost every day I am reminded--and today is another example. My husband always put our flag up on patriotic occasions. We have a socket for the pole affixed to the side of the house. No flag has graced it for more than a year now because I can't reach the socket, and perhaps couldn't heft the flag on its pole up there anyway.
Personal remarks like these seem trivial when we look at the big picture, of course, so herewith apologies. I have put the word "writer" in the subtitle of this blog. As such, I'd better grasp opportunities to prove I'm entitled to that moniker by exploiting any material for this space. At a late stage of life, I find more material than I have time to commit to paper, even if I'm willing to put ruminations out there where someone else can judge them. Then I think of those offerings from others that have been instructive or supportive or encouraging to me, and so here I go again.
First, anyone interested in memoir should have a look at the recent posting on Cool Plums Weblog. I may just be ready to declare a sort of independence day myself.
A problem with memoir, as I see it is that unless there is an extraordinary and/or exotic background (like Alexandra Fuller's Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight) for the story, the autobiographer is in danger of sounding merely self-absorbed. Perhaps the author is. But I think in the best cases, as in a classroom, it's the obiter dicta--the throw-away remarks, the tone of voice (implied in the diction for a written piece, of course), the opinions that slip out that provide the fascination and usually, the instruction. The blog post mentioned above may give a good many people the courage to try the form once they get a feel for how to go about it while maintaining not only dignity, but credibility.
Enjoy your families, the grill, the fireworks, the pops concerts, and remember the occasion for the celebration today!