I am a writer. I have been writing for years. The first diary I have is from when I was 10 years old. I wrote about what I ate, what I did for homework and how many hours a night I slept. It wasn't very good stuff but I was writing. I kept a diary off and on from the time I was 14 until I was 34. I love going back and reading some of the better stuff, the escapades, the shenanigans, the high jinx, the skinny dipping.
I often run across stuff that I forgot about and have no memory of having done. Once my sister and I and someone else (Lorna?) climbed the fence at the PUC pool and skinny dipped on a Friday night instead of going to vespers (a worship service that was a cross between a worship service and a meet and greet/date night with fashion show). When we got to the pool they had these plastic pool covers on which we decided to use as slip and slides and slid across naked until our weight pulled them under the water. Lucky for us we didn't get caught and we never thought about the danger of being trapped in one of the covers and getting pulled under the water. We were just having fun. It wasn't until after we left that my sister noticed the two red spots spreading on her wet t shirt, turns out that skimming across the pool covers had completely rubbed the skin off our nipples.
When I was in high school I traded diaries with my cousin Ann and we wrote for a month or so and then traded books and continued this all year. It was so fun to read what she wrote and then in turn for her to read what I wrote. It also helped us keep in touch during our school year and helped me get to know her better and vice versa. I was mostly ping pong-ing that year between two boys named Todd, neither of which had any interest in me.
I've often wondered what famous people do when they write about friends and family, what do they have to do, ask everyone's permission to write about them? Do they write private things and change all the names? Do they pay people handsomely for their stories? And what happens when they tell a family member or friend's story and offend them? How do they mend that fence or fix that break? Does it ever heal or is it a sore spot forever?
I just finished a memoir by a woman who had an affair with JFK and I thought it was convenient that she chose to write about her affair now that most of the people connected to the time and place were all dead.
I recently found out that I wrote something about someone dear to me that hurt them. I will say that until lately I never cared if something I wrote hurt anyone because mostly my writing was all diaries and private, the only thing anyone reads is this blog and lets be honest - not that many people read it. But to know that something I wrote caused pain or hurt or sadness makes me feel terrible inside and I wish I could lessen that pain in some way.
I will need to be more careful in the future and I will need to take great care with the hearts and minds of those I love and those that love me. A thousand apologies.