Whose story is it?

A placekeeping-post quoting NYTimes opinion piece which you may or may not be able to read in full here.

Pamela Paul starts by outlining the view that one should only write/create about one’s own experience and then continues below.

Back when the controversial Emmett Till painting was in the news, I started collecting quotes like these. Maybe later I’ll link to them. Don’t hold your breath.

It’s cold here. I planted creeping phlox and more pansies this weekend.

Yesterday was not a good day for a bunch of reasons. I’m glad to find myself fully rested this Monday morning, ready to get busy, reconsider things, forgive.

And speaking of points-of-view, it looks like Musk and twitter may reach a deal today. It’s widely believed that the libertarian billionaire will immediately replatform trump.

22 thoughts on “Whose story is it?

  1. Nancy

    Dee, I will have to read the whole article later, as I’m off to work. That being said what you post here is so thought provoking and well stated. Right after I finished reading here, I saw a flash of a ‘coming up next story’ on the morning news of this campaign:
    Haven’t heard the whole of the story yet, but thought the timing interesting…we can write, paint etc with our own empathy and we can eat foods of another ‘culture’ and love them! Aren’t we versatile like that?! 😉
    Your garden looks lovely and I love your tortoise! Off to record heat today. Oy.
    New day, new whatever.

  2. Marti

    “Life experience” as the sole basis of writing or any other art endeavor? To me, life experience is just a spring board to a broader understanding, a broader interpretation. We have imaginations, we have our own backstory AND we have heart and the ability to connect on the most human level, the level of empathy, of wanting to know more about each other, of using that wanting, and our imagination, and our creativity, and our caring, to fully give credibility to story.

    Do we have to be a certain skin color, or have the same history to have authenticity? Can I, as an immigrants daughter write about the immigrant experience, when I have never been one? To ask questions, seek answers, delve into our hearts, souls and minds in an effort to reach a communal understanding, is to embrace our collective humanity. The desire to do this, to want to bring to the light, what moves us to create, is universal….

    1. deemallon Post author

      Whenever I get around to collecting the various quotes on this topic, I’ll include your comment Marti. Of course empathy isn’t enough, intellectual rigor isn’t enough, genuine curiosity isn’t enough, but maybe when all those things are combined and wrapped in humility, work can be produced that sings rather than offends.

  3. Hazel

    The bird wing. I hope today is going better for you, Dee, that you can take care or let go of everything that weighs on you. Appreciating, as always, how you gather thoughtful and provoking things for all of us to consider.

  4. Laura

    I have the cartoon concern. Personally, I don’t think I will be able to stomach hearing Trump’s tweets again. For the rest of the world, I am frightened if he begins sharing his ignorant bile again. omg.
    Sometimes I just want to curl up, close my eyes, and suck my thumb like a baby!

  5. RainSluice

    Gardening keeps me going, for sure. Dee, I love your garden so much! always have. Gardens evolve and with your new circular gathering place, I bet you’ve made some interesting changes. I was running out the door today and nearly tripped over a box of ferns I ordered online a long time ago. Of course I didn’t remember I had ordered ferns, so it was a lovely surprise to myself – Oy.
    Yes, @Marti. I love your words: “To ask questions, seek answers, delve into our hearts, souls and minds in an effort to reach a communal understanding, is to embrace our collective humanity. The desire to do this, to want to bring to the light, what moves us to create, is universal….”.
    We live in a time that is become ironically more *regimented*. Causing increased anxiety? Oy.
    Writing is so difficult and unforgiving to begin with? xo

    1. deemallon Post author

      Yes we’ve done some new plantings around the new back patio. Not all of them took. I think the rabbits ate my oak leaf hydrangea. Damn them! Ferns – yeah! They spread and are such a softening texture.

      I was sorry to see you left twitter, although I understand. I’m waiting and seeing. For one thing the deal might not go through. Snags in his clearance check or maybe continued nosedive of Tesla’s value (it’s down ten percent today)?

  6. RainSluice

    the open source thing is really stupid (Musk-Twitter). I had a brief bout of withdrawal symptoms last night. I have another account actually that is quite inactive. If things go well with security and keep assholes like Trump off of the platform then I may be back. next will be FB and Insta but I do love insta.

  7. debgorr

    I’ve read a few things about the discussion regarding whether we can write/create from a perspective not our own. I think we have to. If we loose the capacity to imagine, if we can’t embrace what it might mean to be different than we are…then I think we will never get anywhere towards being a society that is diverse and different that is healthy.

    I’ve been doing a lot of pruning in the garden. This past winter was not kind to the plants that are marginally hardy here.

  8. Ginny

    Wow, Dee, I just read your About page again. I think for the first time since I found you…13 years or so ago?!? Wow. You should expand upon the statement “shouldering responsibility is crucial even if our particular families were not slave owners and maybe not even on this side of the Atlantic during the critical years.” Why? Because I think it is something that many white Americans get stuck on…I had no slaves, I am related to no slave owners. I got no deals. blah blah blah Even in our case, our irish immigrant great grandpaddy was drafted into the civil war on arrival in the USA. He fought for freedom, granted with a gun to his head, but still…

    AND, I can’t wait to read the urban eff-up story. Holy crow. I know so many.

    Keep at it! We do live in a country where anyone can write a story about anything. Sure there will be people who complain…there ARE ALWAYS people who complain and criticize. It is human nature. Your story needs to be told. I hope it gets out there soon. xo

  9. Joanne in Maine

    Life experience should count for something……..my elementary school and then my college were integrated in the early 1950’s and then 1960’s- now I know this was not the “usual”.. I have always seen all people as just people. I think that was how it was supposed to work. My grandfather came to America and then fought in WWI. Sometimes things are weird.


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