A Pledge…

Memoir (noun)

  1. a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.
  2. Usually, memoirs.
    a. an account of one’s personal life and experiences; autobiography.
    b. the published record of the proceedings of a group or organization, as of a learned society.
  3. a biography or biographical sketch.

    (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/memoir)

Over the years, since I was actually quite young, I have been told that I should write a memoir. One immediately wonders if their life is that interesting and if they are actually pompous asses if they think it might be. Such a word – memoir – holds a great deal of weight, because I feel that only people who have lead extraordinary lives should really put pen to paper in such a manner. My father should have written one and my grandfather did; however, I fear that it is rather pretentious of me at thirty-six to feel like I have something worthwhile to say about life. What do I know?

I would be lying if I said I’ve never thought about it. I have momentarily touched upon my childhood in Moscow in 1991, as well as my life in Kuala Lumpur in the mid-80s in writing, but I struggle with how to write a truly full and colorful account of these experiences and a myriad of other stories. I only hope that I can do it justice.

Since leaving Los Angeles on June 3rd, 2011, I have kept a journal that I have written in almost daily. My intent over the next year (or so) is to go through these pages and find the stories and anecdotes that may help me pull together a book that would describe my move to Paris; my childhood in Malaysia, Russia, and the United States of America; and the people that are my family. I am the child of two amazing individuals with very different stories of their own.

My intention now is to use my blog to gather my thoughts in order to write this book. I must decide what to leave out and what to include. To find the correct words to describe memories that are both recent and over twenty-five years old, as well as family stories that have been handed down throughout the years. I guess the only way to forge such a path is to begin to write…

 

The love of words in any language.

“There must be a Russian word to describe what has happened
between us, like ostyt, which can be used
for a cup of tea that is too hot, but after you walk to the next room,
and return, it is too cool; or perekhotet,
which is to want something so much over months
and even years that when you get it, you have lost
the desire. ” – Barbara Hamby

Maybe it’s because I’m a Russian-Latvian that I find this beautiful. I love the Russian soul. It’s part of my blood; my history. It’s in my DNA. I have always had a love for words. I love Woolf, Greene, Austen, Eliot, Plath, du Maurier, Brooke, Flaubert, the Brontë sisters. So many.

But then there are the words written down by Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Chekhov, Bulgakov, Pushkin, Pasternak, Akhmatova. A man once told me that Tolstoy was the mind of the Russian people. Dostoyevsky, the soul. I almost fell in love with him then and there. Almost.

We can also look at the compositions that came out of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Scriabin. Music felt in the chest. Resonating. We fear our hearts will explode. We cry to relieve emotions suddenly resurrected; uninvited.

And maybe it’s just the simple fact that I love the idea… the tepidness that comes from waiting.

 

 

 

http://www.barbarahamby.com/