My husband Bernie wrote this based on the lead line “my life began with the written word” Wish I had thought of this one
I keep coming back to the same question – “Am I real?”
I exist because I’m here. He created me, my life began with his printed word but now does that make me real? He can make me do anything, he determines my appearance but I’m still me.
I’m not free because I’m tied to his will but don’t many people believe that they are subject to the will of a higher being? Is my case so different? Once he created me I began a life, true it was dependent on his ideas but it’s still a life.
I guess it’s really a bigger question because if I’m real then all the characters in fiction must also be real. A whole world of characters! If we’re real then where are we? Some are very famous some are not well known at all but they all exist.
Some people say we’re just figments of authors’ imaginations but we are known far and wide so once we are brought to life on the printed page surely we become more than that.
I’ve lived through three novels now and the reviews have said I have developed quite a following so I must be real to those people, I’ve even had letters sent to me, not that I get them.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “real” as – actually existing or occurring but then gives a second definition as – genuine , not artificial. I know I exist but am I genuine and not artificial? It defines “artificial” as – produced by human art or effort rather than originating naturally. This seems to indicate that I’m not real but the dictionary defines reality as – What exists, the real nature of and resemblance to an original. These all seem to fit so I am back to the original question.
He is starting a new novel for me now in which he sending me to Antarctica but he has researched to ensure I’m well equipped for the adventure which seems to indicate that at some level he wants me to be real. I know he takes great care not to put me in any situation that it is impossible to escape from so he values my continued existence. I’ve earned him a reasonable amount so I suppose he depends on me to an extent. Is this a symbiotic relationship? If so, doesn’t that indicate I’m real?
I think that since my life began with the printed word I am real to some extent. I guess I’ll have to settle for that. I’d better prepare for Antarctica now.
This is a post by a fellow Inkling Lynne Lumsden Green please check out her blog.
I have a young friend who is a very talented writer. Well actually I have a number of young friends who are very talented writers. Natalie has her own column in a weekly community newspaper. Our Narangba. Recently she asked me if she could do a story based on my piece When Life Hands You Lemons and I agreed. Her story was published yesterday …Thank you Natalie Harman.
For Linda Morse.
Forgetting her cat eye reading glasses are hanging from her collar, Belinda squints at the writing prompt to jog her memory. Three prompt challenge: 1. Lemons. 2. Keys. 3. Hair Ties. Re-tucking loose strands from her prematurely grey beehive behind her ears, she unearths a brand-new, forgotten notebook from her just-as-patchy bag. Gilded butterflies are entrapped in covers of the foggiest grey. Under the cover of fiction, she writes in fibre-tip pen: ‘When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,’ my Gran always said.
Those days she said some crazy things, though. One time she told me that the car wouldn’t start without hair ties, but what she meant was the car wouldn’t start without the keys. She did crazy things too, like putting her car keys in the freezer – why did she do that?
My Gran had lovely hair, until Mum took her to get it cut because Gran wasn’t well enough to look after it herself. As the hair fell to the floor, I remembered how Gran used to wear it in a plait, which pointed at her tie-dyed pants and leather sandals. Mum said this, coupled with the oceanic shirts, made Gran a hippie.
‘The only free love humankind should practice is that of surviving the ’60s,’ Mum would always declare.
My Mum also got angry when her mum told the same stories over and over again, but I didn’t. I loved how Gran loved to tell me stories of her timeless youth. Marching down the streets of Melbourne to protest against the Vietnam War. Lunching at a coffee shop in Carlton called The Bread Stick during her breaks from working at the local university. Lay-bying treasures for her glory box from a pottery shop next door. How her explanation of all this old stuff became another story altogether.
Obviously, my Gran was super smart and funny, but she also cried a lot. These tears weren’t of laughter, but of loss.
The last time I saw Gran in her new house I asked if she still felt lost. She smiled as though she had even forgotten how to smile, and said, ’When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.’
Writing this, I finally understand what Gran meant, and I also know she wasn’t crazy, just sick – she had dementia.
Belinda is breaking the lemony rules of writing to make her own lemonade, but this doesn’t matter. What matters is the actuality behind her artifice: a literary game of hide-and-go-seek in which the hider touches her nose to the dusty, dandelion curtain, unaware her shadow betrays her whereabouts.