choose a caliber

December 5th, 2017

writing is worth it

November is National Novel Writing month.  NANOWRIMO is a non-porfit inspirational site.  If you go for the challenge, you enroll and keep track of your word count, with number 50K as a novel completion word count. If you finish, they double check successful word count and send an email saying “Hooray!”  I’ve done it two years in a row, and have a feeling of accomplishment.

She Is Wonderful started from a recent conversation I had with a brave woman who loved to read as much as me. We talked about the magical way books appeared in our lives and made a difference.  I thought about books I’ve read and loved.  The book goes into the books, and it goes into my father and grandmother sharing their books with me.  They were brilliant people, and gave me the best they had with reading.

Toward the end, I reflected upon my mother’s comment,”You come from people of caliber.” It’s true.  My father put a bullet in his brain, as did his father.  I also respect the ancestors who became doctors, judges, nurses and writers.  Caliber  was a sixteenth century French word based on Greek and Arabic words.  It has two definitions, meaning the quality of someone’s character or ability, and the internal diameter or bore of a bullet.  Both definitions apply to my life.

Writing helped me realize that I don’t have to define my father by only one definition.

Like me, family members survive a tragic suicide by transforming themselves as we face consequences of such an extreme choice. Making a reading list of what I love, and writing about good things my father left me,  helped me choose another way of thinking.  I define not only pain, but recognize that nobody is defined by one action.

I did not expect that writing would provide amazing insight, well worth the effort.


2 responses to “choose a caliber”

  1. WayBack Machine says:

    Your comment at the end, that writing about good things your father left you helped you choose another way of thinking, is the pure and simple explanation for how come you are so in tune with the Universe right now… remember our chance meeting in Corte Madera? Remember all the exuberance in your heart as you told me of the uncanny, stimulating time you had while writing this book, and then the connections that continue to spark you? Well, then!

    • Pru Starr says:

      Yes, I was so happy to finally realize I had choices about how to handle suicide. For the loss creates such a cavernous absence, it comes as a relief to have another way to think of my dad. Thanks for trusting me with your insights.

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