Memoirs or is it “Mem-Wires”? Perhaps “Mem-Wah”?

on August 29, 2013

A few years ago I bought the audio book Old Friends From Far Away by Natalie Goldberg.  I had previously read her book Writing Down the Bones and I loved her writing style and her philosophy on writing and thought this would be a great follow up book.  Most importantly I found it on sale for 2-bucks.

As soon as I heard her voice on the CD,  I was transfixed and I decided immediately that I needed to write my memoirs.   Only I didn’t!  The more I thought about it I decided I didn’t  want to write my “mem-wires” (like I had always heard it pronounced) I wanted to write my “mem-wah’s”.  This is how Natalie pronounced it and it seemed to fit me somehow.  It may be that is really the way it’s pronounced and all the smart intellectual people really do say “mem-wah’s” when they write their memoirs.  But I still like it.  I think I like the way it sounds when I say it because I imagine myself wearing glasses slid down on my nose, sipping hot cocoa, typing, and then saying in my most stuffy and sophisticated voice “can you keep the noise down I’m writing my ‘mem-wah’s’.” Then laughing hysterically because being sophisticated and proper is something I don’t think I’ve ever done with a straight face.

So I shall begin.  I commit to write my life memories.  And I commit to write them in no particular order.  And the facts?  Well they are my facts – just as I remember them.  And I just may fill in the blanks.  Perhaps I shall write about my mothers black shoes – and it just may be that they were blue.  But in my mind they are black, shiny, and have a pointy toe.  They seemed to have a 3-inch heel.  But I was 5 when I put them on and walked around the house, and they seemed to be 3-inches high to me then.  In reality they were probably 1- inch.  But that’s the thing about “mem-wah’s”.  They are my stories and I can tell them any way I want.  And the shoes — they really were black.


2 responses to “Memoirs or is it “Mem-Wires”? Perhaps “Mem-Wah”?

  1. Ha! I loved this little riff. My boyfriend and I are always saying the word to each other after watching ‘Burn after reading’. John Malkovich’s character announces that he’s writing his mmmemmm-wahs and we can’t get that out of our heads! I too loved ‘Writing down the bones’, which makes me wonder if I shouldn’t now try ‘Old friends from far away’.

  2. Cassidi says:

    I am taking a family history class and every week our teacher sets a timer for 10 minutes and tells us to write a story from our lives. Of course, hardly anyone finishes in the 10 minutes but at least we get a start. I really like it and it has made writing my “men-wahs” a lot less formidable.

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