The other day the gardener and I were in California, on a solidly packed freeway, and a truck that pulled ahead of us on the right drew my attention. Hanging out of the back, one on each side, were two bundles of children’s shoes. They were strung together by a rope or perhaps laces, and they looked a bit like little herb pots hanging on the wall.
What I thought: they are shoes without the children.
These were not shoes being transported somewhere, but rather a decoration to the truck itself. The trailer portion of the truck was smallish, but not too small, and without windows.
Maybe somebody would look at those shoes and think how cool it was that a dad was hauling mementos of his children around. I, on the other hand, immediately thought of serial killers and their trophies.
I shouldn’t let my mind loose sometimes, especially since I prefer the lighter side of life.
At home, I dug out my own kids’ outgrown shoes for a little throw-back mama time:
Did they not have the sweetest little shoes? The print canvas shoes my son loved to show off, and the red Chinese shoes he wore with a white turtleneck and black velveteen pants with suspenders to his legal adoption (a few hours after he fell off the bed and cracked his head between his eyes ugh). My daughter’s little “running shoes” with pink interiors, and the white Mary Janes she wore to her special naming ceremony. The rubber Korean shoes sent with my children when they arrived from Korea. Lots of memories there.
Then I took a look at somebody else’s memories. My mother-in-law’s collection of the gardener’s out-grown shoes.
Because I wasn’t around when he wore these shoes, they hold no memories for me. Because they hold no memories I am free to create stories in my head. Kinda like I did when I saw the shoes hanging off the back of the truck.
Writing question: do you think it’s easier to write fiction if you have information but not specific memories? Or do memories feed your fiction?
Blogging question: when you’re writing non-fiction do you ever have leaps of imagination that try to send you into fiction? Like embellishment or even creating fictional stories for your blog?
I am going to close comments for this post, but I hope these questions give you something to think about for today!
The poetry reading went well. It was a very small crowd because it’s summer in Phoenix (imagine that!), and many were gone or found it too hot. But I had a lot of fun, met some new people, and what a sweet little art gallery with coffee bar.