Just how grim can it get up north? (Actually, it's quite nice.) One woman's not-so-lonely journey into the Northern heartlands.
Friday, August 10, 2007
This is my London diva girl. Beautiful, of course as divas always are and glamorous. Glamour too is the diva's way of going on. But I call her "diva" not because of narrow, selfish ways, buffed nails or rhinestone studded shoes; rather, because she claims her life while others, I include myself, will watch their own pass by. She stands centre stage, not to own the spotlight which is hers by right, but to anchor the performance, give depth and meaning to the words of those who surround her star. Her fellow troubadours seem small from the stalls. She will turn her head an inch to whisper: "Stand tall. Move up to your mark." When they miss their cue and lose their place in fright at life, she will say: "Here, try these words for size." I blame her though, for setting such a high tide mark in friendship, leaving seaweed and stripped and silvered driftwood in its wake so that I cannot forget where she has been. For never failing me when darkness came around and sadness washed right through and over me. For being there when it would have been simpler and far cleaner to give me "space and time" and all those things that mean: "I don't know what to say." For sitting by and listening to, feeding me and all of mine, and pouring red, communion wine into my crystal glass. Which I then drank. I hold her thoroughly responsible for all her wisdom, gentle comfort, the ringing supper laughter and the kitchen bar stool smiles. I love her children as I love my own; if terrible things happened and terrible things do happen, the first to come around and pick up those that had been mine would be my London diva. Cue: applause.
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Are you going to offer a similar apology to the Northumbrians who have tried to be your friend?
But you are a Diva in your own way - to your husband, kids and parents. The thing I ask myself when down is "do I really like me?" Yes of course I do! So should you (like yourself). Buck up - we're all beautiful and successful but in our own little ways.
That seems like a peculiar comment M&M, given the insults that you have recently flung at tourists to your area! Maybe we should just apologise to the world for our individual opinions and be thankful for our supportive friends!
Minx, I am not seeking new friends, I have plenty thanks.
M & M Does it occur to you that that might have been the point of the post that has unleashed such malice?
"But I call her 'diva' not because of narrow, selfish ways ... ; rather, because she claims her life while others, I include myself, will watch their own pass by."
What a powerful, true, and thought-provoking sentence!
Dear Mrs. Wife
I apologize for being such a comment-hog, but I am bubbling over with things to say.
Now that your writing has provoked a major food-fight, you can be assured that your writing is pretty interesting, and that people aren't just being polite to say it is.
Everything you said about your London Diva, I had already figured most of it out. I think you are calling her "London Diva" so that her character will have a name, without giving her "real" name. In choosing this name, which is essential for the character, you have chosen a label that is actually pretty clever, sort of humorously ironic, that could be taken in different ways.
Some of your blog readers are local to you, but some, like me, live thousands of miles away. I am truly fascinated; to me the place in which you dwell is a far away and exotic land, and all the characters that you write about are its interesting inhabitants.
If some of your neighbors could realize this, maybe it wouldn't seem so bad to them.
I think your writing is just a joy, it is my treat once or twice a day to read your blog and re read some favourites.
I also am fairly new to an area and know very well how unkind and clanish women can be. Boy it can really hurt. But if I had your talent I am sure I would just know that they are all more than a bit envious. You shook it all up. Good for you.
I would like new friends M&M. Perhaps you could be mine? I am not that peculiar...
Where is North Umbria, is it in Italy?
Never explain,never apologise. Your enemies won't listen and your friends don't need it...
That's a beautiful pen portrait of a unique person. It's a joy to read, as Polly says. I hope London Diva will read it and keep it for the rest of her life - surely no one will surpass it.
Ladies, ladies - enough!
I love this portrait of a friend. It's odd and written at an angle, like much of your writings, which is why I like it so much. Yes, thank you.
Don't know where to start, the beach post certainly got it going! In my view,it did seem to indicate that they would not let wifey in, which seemed strange given they shared their wine, and I do think I'd be hopping mad if it was me, to then be written about.It would make me afraid to have any contact with you, WITN, because good or bad, I would not like to feel that our every contact might be blog fodder.I really think you should go back to London if you're that miserable.
The beach post appeared then the following day Sarah's post appeared..then the next day Sarah's friend's post appeared. Obviously Sarah and her friend knew they were likely to be written about, and planned to keep an eye on the blog to see, and defend themselves if necessary. Presumably thats why they were very guarded and selfconscious when talking to wifey on the beach that day. Wifey interpreted that as unfriendliness. Having normal conversations with people when they know they may be written about is obviously going to be difficult. Bottom line- you can blog, or you can settle in the area. If you choose to settle, it may be time to switch to a diary....the old fashioned non cyber sort that no-one else reads.....
The last thing on our minds was being blogged. We were having such a good time.
I have been reading your blog for months with enjoyment. I love the way you express your feelings, you are entitled to say what you think, people worry too much about being 'PC' these days.
I moved only 3 miles up the road to a new 'village' where I found the people to be in 'clecks' Nobody spoke, all to involved in their own group conversations. I was alone with a child, all day with no adult conversation, no smiles from passers by, no friends with babies to talk about.
I persevered and found a friend, I smiled at passers by, quickly I became part of a 'cleck' and soon realised I was doing the same, not talking to new people. I had my friends. It wasn't that I didn't make an effort I just felt more part of the 'village' and just didn't notice the new people.
Stand tall and smile.
PS your blog on the the love of you baby reduced me to tears. Tears of sadness that my babies are now 7 & 10 and no longer babies. Lovely writing
I blog about people I meet all the time, but it doesn't matter as they are all insane and so stupid they do not have computers or aren't able to read...
blogs can be like instant memoir, can't they?
and there is certainly a lot of controversy about memoir these days--whether it's ok to change names to protect people's feelings; whether it's ok to fill in the gaps of your memory with fiction-spackle; whether it's ok to make stuff up out of whole cloth.
i'm rather a purist when it comes to the labels of fiction and nonfiction; in my mind, if you call something memoir, that means it's basically true, or as true as you can make it based on your memory. (if you start doing research to verify everything, then it moves into the realm of autobiography, which is even more factually true than memoir, which i think of as more impressionistic.)
so when i read blogs such as this one, i am assuming that i am reading what is basically the literal truth--your memory can't be too faulty if it just happened yesterday.
if it's fictionalized--the weather was really sunny, but you tell me it was cold because it was cold in your heart, or whatever--it loses something for me. what is the purpose of telling stories of your life if you're going to color them and change the facts?
then call it fiction, and i will understand how to approach it.
but fiction masked as nonfiction doesn't do a lot for me. without some sort of basic understanding of the rules under which something was created, the meaning is lost.
this blog is beautfully written. it carries a lot of power and emotion. but is it the literal truth? if not, where's the meaning?
we could debate this question for a long time.
Laurie -- I do think we are in an area between fiction and non-fiction on WITN. For me, as introduced in her blog description, WITN is documenting not events as such; rather the evolution of her heart and soul in a new and strange and hostile-feeling environment.
Thus, speaking only for myself, her descriptions of events are actually descriptions of the contentedness (or not) of her mind and heart and soul; a stepping away from her reporter training of "what I saw, what I know" to "what it felt like and the affect it had on me". It is a very exposed and risky place to go, and I think I could not do it. I admire WITN so much for exposing her vulnerability and risking the s***storm sure to follow.
This is a personal diary - my feelings about a day are just that - my feelings. Someone else can obviously be at the same event and feel completely different about it and they have every right to say so and to say so here. I was disappointed by the day and the fact I could not make a connection; someone else had a good time. But that, after all, is what makes the world such a textured, interesting place.
However, I will say that I am a journalist, with years spent in national TV and national newspapers, and I try very hard not to get things wrong. I am sure I make mistakes sometimes but I certainly don't do it on purpose.
Why on earth would I do that? What would be the point?
A few details for the record:
*I did not say it was a trailer "pulled by a tractor", I said it was a tractor trailer. I have checked this and that is indeed what it was. I might have called it a farm trailer, or a farmer's trailer; this would not have meant it was pulled by a large cereal farm or a small, florid, panting farmer.
*Re. the weather, I love the idea of projecting an inner landscape onto an outer landscape and perhaps I would do that if indeed I was clever enough to think of it. Since I am not, I checked with three other parties their recollection of the weather by the time we made it to the beach, they too remember it as cold and grey. Infact, my own husband who is an eternal optimist and who swims in the sea, decided against it.(As was mentioned, it was chilly enough for me to put on a coat.)
I could go on about the difference between a "question answered" and a conversation, etc. but basically this is not a "colour in the background with pretty words" memoire. It is contemporanous and as accurate as I can make it.
I think you have used these people to portray a picture that suits your blog. Maybe you should write a novel instead!
Oh what a lovely friend - Diva makes her sound glamorous. I have such a friend. Since 1999 we both moved and now live 100s miles apart and due to domestic problems find it hard to get together often. It's hard and I miss her. I'm sure I'd find you an interesting friend I'm sure. Just as sure that you will make more local friends. But the level of friendship may not match up to your Diva. At least we do have one Diva in our lives - some people never meet such a friend in all of their life.
M&M... give it a rest.
Wife, you don't have to defend yourself. It is obvious to anyone with any sort of discernment what you are up against here. And their comments just confirm it.
With friends like that, who needs enemies (as my mother used to say).
I truly hope you find someone to bond with soon. Someone who isn't pretending to include you but welcomes you with open arms and makes you feel like you have found a soft place to fall.
Post a Comment