No Two People
I've no idea who said it, it's not important, but there's a quote that says 'No two people ever read the same book' which means that every person that picks up a book will have a unique experience. And you only need to glance your eyes across the reviews of a book to see how true that is.
Yesterday we took my father's ashes and put them in the river Forth at the harbour in Anstruther. As a side note you can get wonderful, ecologically safe water soluble urns these days which avoids my own personal fear when scattering ashes that the wind changes direction and you end up inhaling your loved one. My dad's ashes were in such an urn, yesterday was his birthday, he would've been 75.
I'd agreed to say some words and in the days running up to this event I started to think about how everyone I'd spoken to had a different version of who my dad was. Even my brother, sister and I saw him differently. I began to think perhaps the same can be said of people, that no two people have the same experience of someone.
And when you think about it, we all have different versions we put on display, there's work us, and friends us, for those of us who have children there's the parent version of us, there's the partner version and probably others I haven't considered. And what is more those versions change and evolve over time.
As writers I think that's something we are overtly aware of, it's what allows us to write characters that readers become invested in. The journey the characters go on through our stories changes them just like the journeys that we go on change us.
Writing has been hard in the weeks since my dad died, not because I've lost my passion for it, far from it but because I'm tired, deeply tired. In addition to all the emotions there's so much to do and there continues to be so much to do.
This event will have changed me, it will no doubt change my writing, even if it is only in some small nuanced way. People spend a lot of time fearing change when realistically it's happening every day, even if it's only in the minutiae.