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Friday, February 13, 2009

strange as life

    I am a big fan of real life. Let me rephrase that--I am a big fan of any life, anywhere and the narrative that shapes it. Sure, I love a good fictional yarn. Harry Potter, Narnia, Anne of Green Gables--these are stories that I love, stories that I find reflections of my own life in them, somehow.


   Not necessarily dementors (thank goodness for that!), White Witches (another sigh of relief), and Gilbert Bythe (now I wouldn't have minded having him around before I met Drew). But I see familiarity in the battle between Good and Evil, the hope that maybe one person can change the world for the better, and the desire to know and be known by another human who is a walking paradox of strength and weakness, humor and despair, just like myself.

   Yes, I love fiction. But there's something about real life, told by the person who experienced it, that strikes a chord within me. It's like the rubber-necking phenomena; no matter what it looks like, you just can't stop staring. Maybe that's part of the reason reality tv is such a hit. People are forever curious. We want to know who's marrying who, who's breaking up, who made it, who's a little person in a big world.

   Um, does anybody else watch that show?

   Truly, life is always interesting. I don't care if you live in Podunk, Kentucky or if you are sleeping soundly in a nicely sound-proofed Upper West Side penthouse; you have embarrassing habits, or an  embarrassing aunt (but this certainly does not pertain to any of my nine nieces and nephews). You fell in love or wanted to. You are scared of the dark or maybe of clowns. You believe that you are descended from aliens. You once thought that you were going to have a worm farm (don't laugh, I know a couple who thought this; know them very well, in fact). You hope that you are right, you hope that you are wrong. You were cheated on. You are broken. You have never been better. You are an endlessly interesting story that twists and turns and never does get told twice.

  It's the human experience that I find so darned interesting, I guess.   

  Which is probably why I enjoy reading so many books and blogs and articles told from the 1st person perspective. And this is probably why my friends make fun of me for engaging in conversation with so many strangers. And this might even be why Drew gets so embarrassed when I eaves drop on people's conversations in grocery store lines.  

   I mean, if they really didn't want me to hear, they could lower their voices. Or text.   

   Anyway, I do read a lot blogs. And my good friend John Carroll (who's gonna love that I finally mention him here again, since he has informed me that he mostly scans my posts for his name anyway:)) recently told me to read Carrie Fisher's blog. Yes. The same Carrie Fisher who played Princess Leia in Starwars.  She's a very good writer and the nice thing about that is that she does not have to wear a tiny gold bikini while chained to an overgrown slug (no offense, Jaba) while writing.  

   The thing that might not be so nice about writing is that she does not get to kiss Han Solo while doing it.  So maybe it's a toss up. 

  Anyway, I was reading her blog and came across this gem and had to share:

    "My grandmother's mother, Maxie Harmon, began having children in her late teens and continued to procreate until she had her last child at 49, which the doctor informed her was a tumor--and when that growth was born, they called him, of course, Tumor--making him my mother's Uncle Tumor, who was and remains younger than his niece. "

  Uncle Tumor?! You can't make this stuff up, people. 

8 comments:

Pop said...

Yeah, we did look into the protein-rich worm as a possible agricultural commodity...about the same time we almost built an underground house. Now that I think of it there's some logical connection to those two ideas, huh? How would you have liked growing up with hundreds of thousands of worms in the room next door?

I agree you can't beat real life as the best drama. Clearly not normally as well-done as fiction, but fascinating.

kathiek said...

Well, "they" say, "truth is stranger than fiction"! Uncle Tumor...that is crazy!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Well now you outed yourself. pop! I was gonna be nice and leave your worm-farming aspirations anonymous:-)

and yes Kathie, "truth is stranger than fiction" IS an appropriate cliche!

Jenna Latshaw said...

uncle tumor?! haha that is crazy!

John Carroll said...

Thank GOD, I made it to the blog again!!!!!!!!! Now here's a blog worth reading!

Jessica Latshaw said...

lol--I love you, John!!!

Pop said...

Not ashamed of the lowly worm. What they may lack in beauty they make up for in numbers.

Jessica Latshaw said...

yes--but I am quite grateful NOT to have been raise on a farm in which their numbers were evident!!!