Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Section of Real Life & Family History

In the telling of a story the narrator takes a bit from life as definitely and completely as one would cut out a paper doll, trimming away all of the flimsy sheet excepting the figure.  A section of real life is not so detached and finished, for the causes and consequences of it reach backward and forward and across the world....

There are those who would call it the end of the story....  To say the story is finished is not true, for no mere story can ever be complete, no family history contain a beginning or an end.  One may only cut out a bit from life, trimming away all that went before and all that will come after.

first and last paragraphs of the novel
 Spring Came On Forever by Bess Streeter Aldrich


  1. What an interesting perspective about one's life.

    1. Hi, Wendy --
      I was thinking of her words in terms of our searching for our ancestors and recording family history. We can never capture the whole story of our ancestors' lives, only small sections - a wedding date gives us a couple standing in a church or before a justice of the peace; a property deed gives us a location where an ancestor lived and a census may tell us what he/she did while living there, but the story we attempt to retell will never be truly complete. All we can retell is a section, extracted from the whole, a section that can never complete in itself.


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