Regular readers of this blog may already be familiar with some of the tid-bits that I’ve hinted at over these past nine months or so, regarding the development of what I hope will be a magnificent story, that of my own ancestral shenanigans. My anticipation that it will be a tale of epic proportions is well-founded. Some of you who are personal friends already know that I’ve had this dramatic story up my sleeve for what feels like a millennium, but is in reality no more than maybe forty years or so.
Still, that’s nearly my whole lifetime so far and in any respects is a long time to be brewing up a storm.
I have an excellent reason why it has taken me so long to reach this moment of clarity. People usually relate stories about their experiences from their own point of view. Sometimes, for a whole range of reasons, people embellish the details – usually in order to present themselves in the best possible light to their audience, perhaps to absolve themselves of blame for perceived wrong-doings.
Often, this embellishment will increase in complexity with repeated recounting of the story to a point where identifiable lies are clearly committed and the story becomes, literally, unbelievable. And then, some go beyond this point, to where the unbelievable has become so incredulously outrageous that the audience begin to question their own perspectives and consider that there may, indeed be a nugget of truth here, within that which is obvious obfuscation.
This is where my story lies. It’s actually where my mother’s story lies. And yes, I’m using the word *lies* because it has a multitude of meanings. This story is complex, yet simple. All the best stories are.
The reason that I haven’t been able – and here I mean actually physically, possibly and corporeally – to tell this story hitherto is simple. I didn’t know the truth. I had only ever had access to one version of the adventure and, fortunately for me at least, I was intensely aware that this gave me only one dimension to each of the key characters. If the author has such limited access, then they will likely create a biased, incoherent and ultimately uninteresting tale that is not worthy of the time spent upon it – either for the writer or the reader.
But, thanks to some serendipity that is unknown to me, finally, after all of these years, I know the truth. I’ve learned how to identify all the loathsome lies, unbelievable prevarications and bewildering bafflement’s that have discombobulated me in the intervening years. And I also realize that not all stories start at the beginning.
Which can be a bit wHierd, to quote a friend (thanks Lisa Dingle!).
Plus, I found out last week that I am half Irish. It’s a little odd, after half a century of thinking that I was almost entirely Anglo-Saxon. There’s Celtic blood in me – which explains a great deal about my intuition and sense of anti-establishment-ism. For the first time in my life so far, I feel like an almost whole person. That has to be a good thing!
Next steps? Now that Chapter One is penned, the rest of the story is clear and needs only for me to actually write the words. I’ll continue with research for aspects that I know I’m ignorant of – but at least now, I KNOW what I don’t know, which is a hell of a lot more informed than I was before. And with the centenary of the First World War this year, records and facts will be easier to access on the whole.
Thanks for reading – your comments are welcomed