As reading material goes, I’m not big on biographies or memoirs. I suppose these missives can be an accurate record of someone’s life, loves and losses but, intellectually, I always wonder.
Wonder how much of the material is geared to the need to sell to appease market forces, editors and publishers. How much of a published life has been underplayed or exaggerated in order to make the numbers.
Then there is the sticky question of those who know the author intimately. So the next ponder must be how much of a biography or memoir’s truth is included or deleted to not piss off family, friends or upset other well established if dead legacies.
When younger, I did not understand the need for legacy. To leave something behind for those coming behind us. And, when we do think about it, the legacy we usually want to leave is a good one. It is only now that I am older I understand plot points in movies and books where a protagonist might be motivated to kill to maintain a legacy they will not be around to see.
I am currently in Rhode Island where Bronnie, my late husband, grew up; here with family and friends who knew him intimately. On the whole, the legacy he has left behind is a good one. And those outside of our intimate family circle will only have known a charismatic, charming and exceptionally generous hearted individual. Ironic, then, that it was his heart which gave out in the end. Inside the family, as any other, he has left behind a mixed bag of emotion, hurt, resentments and squabbles – but, again, a man very much loved. That is the nature of family made up of people.
And I ponder this question of reputation and legacy today, because a dear friend of mine is looking back over her life and taking to the pen to illuminate and unravel her own history. She tells me that I too will feel this urge at a certain point in my life.
Although, as bloggers, have we not already started this process? If I die tomorrow, my children have a place they can come to to re-hear my voice, beliefs and the continuing learning I have been through since starting this blog.
This blog is not all of me, certainly, but when I do set down the parts I share it is a true if changing record of who I am, what I feel and how I feel it in a captured moment in time. It is my truth.
Legacy, if for no other reason, is why we should blog and write authentically as it may be the only legacy we get to leave behind. A legacy that does not have to be pretty or to everyone’s tastes. It need merely be our truth – whether that truth sells or not.
The Black Widow