The Sandbox Writing Challenged #30 – Drawing A Blank

This was one of the more difficult Sandbox Writing Challenges. Lady Calen of Impromptu Promptlings, asks us this question:

If you were to give this baby something you lacked early in life, what would it be?

Early life… my grandpappy told me about that. No memory of it; don’t forget, that was 60 years ago, assuming that early life covers a five year period. I really have no notion what I had or did not have. Do I feel a sense of lacking from those days? No. I don’t feel a sense of anything. One of my earliest memories is of watching my brother go off to school, and wanting to go too, but being told that I could not. Knowing what I know now about how I felt about school once within the halls of learning, Iย in retrospect,ย I should have felt lucky. Of course, that one memory is not actually followed by what experiences I had in grammar school, as much as how I felt about school as I got into the higher grades of Junior High School and High School. Did I like 1st and 2nd and 3rd grade? I don’t know. I met my first heart throb in 3rd grade. I liked that for sure. But the process of learning and the specifics of going to school are very mirky.

I have been told that in those early years, of life in the neighborhood, I and a neighbor girl were apparently always following our older brothers around, who hung out together. Did I feel I lacked the fun and excitement of what the boys were doing? I don’t know. I don’t remember what they may have been doing.

I don’t recall the first time I didn’t like myself. I don’t think I was told I was ugly, the way my mother was when she was a girl. I don’t think I was told I was stupid. I believe we (my brother and I) were encouraged to read, and to be creative. My parents were very creative people. I’d say it goes without saying that we would both then be supported in our creative endevours. And I did find writing at a very young age, to be a way of expressing myself, that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Did I know fear? I can’t imagine a child that didn’t. Maybe I would give that little self the ability to accept life, accept the hand I was dealt. Maybe given that, I would not have grown into a mega-worry wart. I don’t see how a child could even grasp the concept of self-acceptance. But that might be what I needed. I know I did not accept myself as I grew into the pre-teen, then young adolscent years.

That’s all I have.

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26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Soul Gifts
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 18:43:57

    I wonder sometimes if those very early childhood memories return as we age more (I’m in my 60’s too ). I don’t have many either, but do recall stories my parents told me. And have some old photographs.

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    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Mar 11, 2016 @ 21:33:04

      For the most part, I have not remembered, yet. I’m 65 but I know that my father was recalling much more of his early days in his 90s. So I have 3 decades to get to that point. But photographs do clue me in. And of course, I was told things, just in the reminiscences of my family.

      Interestingly, I’m working a process (one I did about 30 years ago), in a workbook, and I began writing according to the prompt in one section, and suddenly I was writing continuously, and I’d find myself suddenly recalling certain things. But most of it was from pre-teen and junior high days. Still, I do think that it suddenly became a stream of consciousness that was feeding on and building upon itself.

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  2. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 18:52:34

    I remember big events and random details. I would say I have forgotten about 3/4 of my life, sadly. Sometimes when I meet up with someone I haven’t seen in years and they say..”remember when…?” Um…no…but then after a few days it starts drifting back. Funny. Some things I never can pull up. Of course everybody’s reality is different, so memories of events wouldn’t be the same. Just shows how much we are in the moment, right?!
    Blessings
    Mary

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    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Mar 11, 2016 @ 21:41:53

      I like that! Yes, it shows how much we’re in the moment. There is a picture I have of my toddler self, and I look at it and wonder what I might have been thinking, and feeling in that moment. I certainly don’t remember being put in that dress, and being placed wherever for the photographer.

      And I do remember (to an extent) the big events. Have you ever thought something was a memory, but when you asked someone about it, they said that it never happened? Then I think, well if it didn’t happen, why did it seem like a memory? Could it have been a dream, that felt so real, that I couldn’t tell that it wasn’t a memory of waking life?

      Hugs and Blessings!

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      • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature
        Mar 11, 2016 @ 21:54:14

        Well, haha, they probably just don’t remember! Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I have had dreams, though, that were so strong and like waking life that I’d forget it didn’t happen here. Memory is such an interesting thing. My hardest memory thing is short term. Where does THAT go?! My best friend teaches psychology, so she is up on all the new memory info, like what they are finding out with brain scans. Fascinating!

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        • Fimnora Westcaw
          Mar 12, 2016 @ 09:55:40

          I’ve had the missing short term memory thing for what seems like ages. My ability to pull up a word I want to use is getting more difficult. And I’m the poster child for getting up and going into the kitchen, and then not remembering why. When I’m making breakfast, I walk across the kitchen, and have to look back at what is on the other counter to give me a clue of what I wanted to get from the drawer.
          I’d sure be interested in seeing what their finding with brain scans, but I think I’m also not so sure I could handle what it is showing us about our brains.

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          • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature
            Mar 12, 2016 @ 11:02:45

            Me too, Fim. Short term memory loss, but also what you are talking about, which is working memory. Mine is shot too. If working memory(1st 15 seconds) doesn’t encode into short term memory, it is gone. If short term doesn’t encode into long term, it’s gone from that point. Words don’t come to me either as they used to. I even carry and pen and paper in my pocket, but in the short time it takes to take it out of my pocket, the thought is gone. Dang! So frustrating! Trying to be ok with it.

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            • Fimnora Westcaw
              Mar 12, 2016 @ 13:16:13

              If I could remember to carry a pen and paper, I might also end up not remembering. I’ve considered possibly having a tape recorder with me, and on so when a thought pops into my head, I can just speak it and then review at day’s end, for those lost moments. Maybe it would be something that looks like that blue toothy thing and people will just assume that I’m talking to someone other than myself LOL
              I think I’m more okay with not remembering words, but wonder how those I’m speaking with feel about my stumbling around in the search for a word, only to lose my whole train of thought. At least I find my friends who are my age, do seem to be experiencing the same thing, so at least we can stumble together.

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              • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature
                Mar 12, 2016 @ 15:05:08

                Yea. I had a friend over last summer and we walked and talked and laughed a lot over how many times we had to ask what we were just talking about. It’s good to be able to laugh. And then, when we can’t remember each other’s stories, they will all be new and if we forget who each other are, it will be like meeting wonderful new people. Oh Geez!
                I have been thinking of getting one of those tape recorders, but, of course I keep forgetting. They would be good for my 3 hour trips between home and Abq.
                Enjoy your day. You probably won’t remember it, but it will be nice in the present!

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                • Fimnora Westcaw
                  Mar 12, 2016 @ 17:37:15

                  That’s a great way to look at hearing something as if it’s new, and going with the idea that meeting someone we can’t remember anymore, being like meeting a new friend. I like that! ๐Ÿ™‚

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                  • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature
                    Mar 12, 2016 @ 17:44:02

                    I have a group of friends that I met in the early 70’s. We get together every year for a 5 day camp out – someplace different every year. We are 3 generations now, so we have made the 2nd and 3rd genners promise that they will bring us together when we are old for just that reason. We will always have a good time with each other whether we remember each other or not! ๐Ÿ™‚

                    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trackback: The Sandbox Writing Challenge 30 โ€” Baby Gift! | Impromptu Promptlings
  4. calensariel
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 19:34:26

    I think a lot of us get our memories from early pictures, actually. And from hearing stories repeated by family. The bigger the family, the better the chance of building memories. And now we’re even! I’m still having trouble with your MMMS prompt!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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  5. Fimnora Westcaw
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 21:44:54

    There are two people left in my life who are from the earliest days of my life. Jeanette reminded me of when Harold was first bringing his family over to meet us. She told me, but I have no memory of it. How strange. And it was funny, too.

    No worries about MMMS. Just post a song you like, because after all, it is about music and having fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

    {{{Calen}}}

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  6. badfish
    Mar 12, 2016 @ 02:38:19

    When you get on a roll about what you don’t remember, you seem to remember a lot, woman. I have a memory when I was maybe three. I might write about it some day soon. Might not…just as easily.

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    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Mar 12, 2016 @ 10:01:28

      One thing leads to another, I’m thinking. Three? That’s too long ago for me. When people ask me what my earliest memory is, I don’t think I can reach back that far. At most, it is a vague image of a mirror on the wall. It has flamingos on it. I asked my mother where that was, and she told me it was in the projects (where we lived until I was 3 years old). I can tell you stories about moments there, that I’ve been told by my mother, but I don’t recall it happening.
      I look forward to reading about the three year old Badfish!

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      • badfish
        Mar 16, 2016 @ 01:55:53

        Yeah, three is real early. I’m special!! And I have a memory of kindergarten (4 or 5 years old) when I pulled Sally’s pigtail and got kicked out. I don’t remember getting kicked out.

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  7. Fimnora Westcaw
    Mar 16, 2016 @ 13:21:13

    You got kicked out of kindergarten???? I’ve never known anyone who has. Wow, impressive! I once punched a girl in third grade, and then took myself out of the class, went down to the principal and demanded to be put in another class. He didn’t listen. So what else is new?

    I had banana curls in kindergarten and first grade (from pictures around the house) *wonders if you’d have pulled them*

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  8. JoHanna Massey
    Mar 17, 2016 @ 07:01:15

    I am currently wrestling into some semblance of order the thousands of photographs I have taken over the years, as well as the passed down to me photos of the family. Every once in awhile I will pick up a photo from my early childhood and a flood of details of the physical environment of the photo will present themselves to me, and the activities I did there. Surprises me that such details are inside what must be by now a very crowded brain.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Mar 18, 2016 @ 09:33:04

      I have meant to do that with my own photos, but I do have the family albums here. They’re nice and orderly, which my mom did years ago. But yes, many will bring up moments long forgotten. And recently, a very good and elderly family friend sent me photos she had with our two families at various gatherings. I think our brains archive things which are only called up when reminded. Sometimes I feel like mine are locked in a vault, though. Then it’s a matter of finding the key/or combination to that lock.

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      • JoHanna Massey
        Mar 18, 2016 @ 10:53:39

        It is quite an undertaking for me. There are very ordering years where the photos are in albums and nicely arranged and labeled, and chaotic years of loose photos in shoe-boxes, envelopes, and file folders. Not to mention that the lovely little townhouse has limited wall space and there are so many framed photos from the previous big old southern lady house which behind the shown photos on top are layered photos behind from years of display.
        I enjoy the task as long as I only do bits at a time as it surely does engage me mentally, emotionally, and feels like a bit of time traveling in place.

        All my best to you dear Fimnora and have an excellent weekend.

        Oh here’s a song for the occasion of photo archiving !

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        • Fimnora Westcaw
          Mar 18, 2016 @ 12:38:05

          Oh gentle, sweet JoHanna, I wept listening to that exquisite song! It has been one of my absolute favorites (as the entire musical soundtrack is), and I can picture being in the theater watching the story unfold!

          I love how you described your photo memories, that some years were ordered, and others chaotic; how your home is filled with images of days gone by. I must agree, working with them, putting them in order is a more easily done little by little. And the framed pictures, with layers behind them, must hold some unknown treasures.
          And people say there is no such thing as time travel. They just have not given the time needed for the wormhole to open up, and carry us into Memory Lane.

          Blessings to you with wishes that your week brings you much joy!

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  9. Lori Carlson
    Mar 18, 2016 @ 04:23:37

    My early childhood memories are sketchy too.. enjoyed reading this Fimnora ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Mar 18, 2016 @ 09:35:27

      Thank you, Lori. I’m working to try to make them less sketchy. It’s just finding the right ‘trigger’ I guess. Like finding the right ingredients for a meal, or something. ๐Ÿ™‚

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