Impressions

What is it that you remember? Here I am referring to events, things you’ve witnessed, minor or major, or something you may have observed that, in the end, has remained with you throughout your life, and may have influenced you and your life. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be something that you personally witnessed or were a part of. It could easily have been something you’ve read that was written in such a way that it caused you to pause, to think, to contemplate what was presented, and wonder if maybe this was based on something the author may have witnessed or experienced. Yet, because of how it affected you, has remained with you and maybe left its mark, its impression, since that time. Those images of the past, when in the present and the situation is right, comes to the forefront of your mind, taking you back, and maybe to that very moment in time, in the past, and realizing it did indeed leave an impression.

In the recent past I wrote the short story, “And it Came to Pass”, presenting the world of the homeless. Obviously not all, since each have their own story as to why they are where they are. Again any who follow this blog know that I’m in my mid 60’s, so I’ve seen my share of life. Yet, where did this story come from, and imagery that is there? Part of what a writer does is take a situation and in his or her mind’s eye see a story there that can be written. The story could be for entertainment, to present an idea, or reveal something that is being overlooked and needs attention, or for something as simple as teaching a lesson. Yet, for that story to come forth there has to have been an impression, an image within the mind, somewhere along the line, strong enough to evoke images, strong enough to evoke the desire to write what the writer sees .

I guess I can go back to when I was 17 to see a moment in time, an impression that may have had the influence to create the Christmas story for 2014. I was starting out in life and working in a cafe in the small community I grew up in. Once I turned 18 I had plans to become a wildland fire fighter, which I did. So this was my first job after graduating from high school, allowing me to earn a little money. I simply was the dishwasher, and helped around the cafe where needed – a minimum wage job that earned me a whopping $1.10 an hour. (Not that being a wildland firefighter earned me much more than this. After my first raise I earned a whopping $1.89 per hour.)

A slight deviation here: I guess like most writers some of my characters are based on real people or composites of different individuals I’ve known over the years. Still, as I’ve stated, most of the time the characters are the result of the world and environment they exist, and as far as I know they are not based on any living person. For example, the owner of the cafe in the book, The Woman in the Snow, is probably a composite of 2 different cafe owners in that small town I grew up in. While Kal and Jura from the book I’ve just released, “A Taste of History Past”, are creations from their world and based on no one that I’m aware of.

Back to that time in my life at the age of 17. One day a bum entered the cafe. There was a counter there like you see in some of the older cafes. He was dirty, in clothes that did not fit, and ordered coffee, which at the time cost ten cents a cup. (This was before the time of free refills.) It was obvious he was down on his luck, as the saying goes, and he had one of those metal band-aid cans where he kept his wealth – a few coins he found. It was his treasure, and probably with the clothes on his back, the only thing he owned. Eventually the owner ran him out of the cafe, and that was the last I ever saw of him. A moment frozen in time.

So, is this where Faron came from? In truth, I cannot say. But I can say that even to this day, and whether the images I see are accurate, or have been clouded and changed with time, I still see him sitting there at the counter drinking his coffee, and hoping someone would buy him a meal, or the owner would show some charity and provide one. Where he went, who he was, for me is an unknown. And I suspect that he has passed away a very long time ago.

In the end, and again I cannot say if it is true or not, the impressions he left behind has stayed with me all these years. And those years and the incident took place almost 50 years in the past, yet from my perspective it seems that it may have been so. The results being that the impressions and influences he placed upon me that day led to a fictional story, a fictional character, and maybe this unknown individual, a derelict of society, unknowingly has reached out over time to touch me, as a writer, and you as the reader as you see the images created in your mind. (for those who may not have read this short story and are interested, here is the link: https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/and-it-came-to-pass/)

Many times it isn’t until years later, when something similar happens to you, whether it’s up close and personal, or seeing it from a distance, you realize how this first incident has left its influences, its impressions upon you. You know, when you look at this word “impression”, we can see it used in so many ways. The footprints left in the mud and sand, the writing, or handprints pressed into wet concrete, the blocks with images pressed into clay or other substances, or images, words, scenes, sounds, and so much more that can be impressed into our very beings, our very souls. In all cases these impressions remain until the very substances they were pressed into change or disappear. And we can say the same thing about you and I, as those influences, those impressions leave their mark upon the person who is you and I. As to what is happening around us is seen, acted within, and felt, all becoming the tapestry that is you and me.

Again I close as I have opened this piece, asking you this question; what influences, what impressions have stayed with you and maybe even changed your life, or your direction? For you I cannot answer, yet somewhere down the roads of time, a stranger touched a boy, leaving images in his mind that eventually took on a life of its own to become a short story, which has reached out and touched many others, leaving more impressions reaching far beyond those humble beginnings so many years in the past.

* * *

We are well into January and the year 2015. If you are one prone to new year resolutions, how’s it going? Maybe instead you should sit down and set some realistic goals with markers along the way, so once you reach these markers you will know you’re progressing towards those goals and your personal success. Have a great week and be here next Saturday for the next post. God Bless! (fdbrant.com)

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Published in: on January 17, 2015 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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