Some small reflections on the adopted life, the journey so far -
She appeared as a character in a book about a pact with the Devil and also in another by a local author Barbara,, although it was never completely clear which character or part of a character she became. The perspective from inside is not that of the oblique view of an outsider, seeing and recording only certain aspects which interest or intrigue. Both books were wordy, full of dialogue like a newsroom script or the recording of a family history. Barbara, taking tiny fragments of self to weave into fantasy people with real lives, existing in her imagination and then in print. Her books suddenly, after her death acquiring a cache, monetary value and feed for academics and pseudo-academics. How can so many words be spun out on something so simple, so spare and uncomplicated? It was as if the sharks gathered to feed off the corpse, the body of work she had meticulously turned out in that too short life, which so fitted her stories and was another of her tales, if only she’d been there to write it.
In any case this life lived was far more interesting than any book, any composite characters where the eyes were picked out of real lives or fictional lives stolen and reheated. People kept asking if she’s watched this television program or that one, as it had made them cry or was so moving, touching or dramatic. Her thought was always the same and sometimes the reply, that her time was so taken up with living her own life and coming to terms with it that there was no time or no appeal in watching others wrestle with the information, the strangeness, the webs and intrigues and the opportunities which present themselves to be taken up on not depending on choice and courage. Hers was a complex web, a tapestry of strands of many gauges, making a long and fulfilled life. One that was by no means over, but presented itself in thought as a completed work so far, with a series of beginnings, middles and resolutions.
How easy is a work of fiction where the dates need not be true, the venues real or the characters living. True life is far more complex and difficult to deal with as writers of biography will testify. There are messy bits, parts that don’t add up, answers unknown and questions that arise with no possibility of reply. How many of us know all the answers, how many lament that they didn’t ask more questions or press the point with a now dead relative, contact or informant? Who passes this way again or has time to reflect and redo, make amends or mend the cracks? Life suddenly becomes too short to not speak out, hold information and feelings close to the chest and leave them unsaid and unshared. The gift of death, the death of a loved one was the learning that this is so. Too many years of opportunities untaken and unexplored for lack of courage and vanity, ended by death on a remote rock that might as well have been on the moon. To truly believe in an afterlife or reincarnation would be such a comfort, provide another chance, enable beauty to last forever.