The Writing-It-Down Stage

May 9, 2011 § 3 Comments

Trekking on Banks Island, N.W.T.

Introspection seems to come with age.

I’m there right now. In the writing-it-down, keeping-a-record, telling-the-story-stage. Is it just that I don’t want my history lost, my life undocumented? Or do I feel the world needs my words, my spin, my story?

I’m unearthing journals, diaries and letters written home in boxes and filing cabinet drawers and rearranging them into a chronological electronic record. And yes, I kept everything. My mother, my husband’s mother and my sister-in-law hoarded all our letters written home from the early years in the Arctic.

My newly married self, my first days in a different culture, my attempts to understand and describe my life are being cracked open.

I see a young woman arriving in the Arctic fresh from the hectic life of a university student, and several part-time jobs, wheels spinning, moving fast. Forced to slow down by the natural pace of isolated village life, I often chafed and sometimes mourned.

Accustomed to friends nearby that I could rehearse my thoughts, reactions and days with, I was desperately lonely. No distractions, such as television, or library books, shopping malls or telephone calls. Just life.

I see a 21-year old who looked at her husband with no blinders on and asked, “What am I doing in this place with this man?” The answer to that question is in my journals. I did find a purpose, and a deep friendship with “that man” that has enriched our nearly 48 years of marriage.

What do I hope to find by looking back? I’ll never know unless I do it.

copyright 2011

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§ 3 Responses to The Writing-It-Down Stage

  • Charlene Baldwin says:

    Amen, sister. Let the cracking get…cracking!!

  • Momma Mindy says:

    I’m so thankful I found your blog and you. I love reliving your life. As the granddaughter of Norwegian immigrants who never shared their thoughts through letters or conversation, I feel like you’re giving me a taste of their lives they could never share. My mother was raised much like you, although she was born in the states. She learned English when she went to school, and by 19 was teaching in a one-room country school. Thank you for your wonderful blog.

    • ingerlogelin says:

      Thank you for connecting, Mindy, and for your kind comments. You’re right, most Norwegians of your grandparents’ generation weren’t known for their sharing. I’m pleased if I’ve lifted the “lace curtain” on their experiences a little.

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