Monday, October 10, 2011

Generation Parables

I have ideas but I don't want to present them as fact or even opinion because I'm not trained in some areas. I think fiction tells the ideas, while not being text book. Jesus used parables or stories. He is the greatest storyteller of all- to hearken back to my storyteller series. And His is the greatest story ever told, as all stories are based in some way on the grand scheme of our history, which I also wrote about before, in Sweet Gabrielle.
Misfortunes, illnesses and diseases seem to be passed down from generation to generation, as much as hair color and habits. My great Grandpa Seth Thompson referred to his melancholy in  poems he cut out or clips from the paper. Grandma Evans, his daughter, also did the same thing. Seems this branch of the family suffered more from depression than my dad's side.  I can remember even my dad admitting he was depressed about circumstances in his life at times, still he got up every day and drank his 23 cups of coffee every morning.
I read today of a young man in Austintown, who finally has a home, is a junior in high school and when he graduates will be twenty. Most of his life, he lived in a car, a tent and moved around continuously with his mother and stepfather. Now a couple that has know him a long time, offered him a permanent place for him. He is not using his disadvantages to give up.
Depression crosses all cultures it seems. We think if our life were simpler we wouldn't get depressed, yet just today, a call for prayer came to me for a young Amish woman who had a breakdown. She just couldn't cope, her house overran her with clutter. She couldn't care for her children. Her mother explained, "Life is getting too hustle and bustle."  The church she belongs to is going to help her now with cleaning and painting the house, so it will be bright when she comes home from her Amish rest home. She is receiving help geared to her culture.
As a nurse, I know depression is an illness. Probably the one with the most hush/ hush stigma, which it shouldn't have. That impression is improving, but still I think some who have never experienced more than life's pitfalls short term, judge those with depression as not strong. "Just get over it."  Treatment is needed, just like any illness, colds to cancer. You'd never tell someone with kidney disease to "Just get over it."
This is where story comes in. If a writer can get the reader to participate in the subject's illness, a better understanding could occur.  No judgment, just knowledge. And  a fascinating fiction with a little supernatural about curses and blessings on the land or family would add a different dimension.  Exploring without actually saying that is the cause.
This thought process did start with listening to Steven King's speech at George Mason's Fall for the Book video. He ventured answering the question, "Why do I write the things I do? Like something from my childhood made me this way." He felt maybe because his mother always told him to think of the worst thing that could happen and then you'll be pleased when that doesn't happen. A New England thought. Which got me to thinking because my husband also expresses that philosophy, his ancestors came from MA, many years ago. Some of mine moved from the south, Maryland and then Washington County in southeastern PA. Yet, they all seem to go back to Scotland, Ireland and Germany. How do the family ideas stay true to roots, yet influenced by outside families? They are always blending.
I also wondered about statistics based on the weather. Do we really have a greater incidence of depression here with lake effect weather, darker winters, cold temperatures? What about people in the Southwest and CA or FL? And what effect does faith and weather combined have?
I think I felt better in New England because the sun came up earlier. The early sunlight is the best they say- sorry, not morning people. But oh, how I dreaded November, when the sun set at 430PM or earlier on the occasional gloomy days.
If I were rich, I'd move to the Southern Hemisphere during the Northern Hemisphere's winter and vice versa.
I think all these ideas can be explored  in a story without a consensus. I don't want to write a thesis, just peeking into possibilities, writing a moving story that engages thought. Ah, ideas for NaNoWriMo!
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