Tuesday, October 5, 2010
To some inheritance means that when a relative dies they will receive a portion, or all, of the late relatives possessions. Money, land, or slaves. To others it means priceless memories. Extraordinary, or maybe just ordinary turned extraordinary, keepsakes.
Sometimes inheritance means the simple matter of blue eyes from a blue eyed mother, brown hair from a brown haired father, a crooked tooth from a crooked toothed grandfather.
Once I had land, keepsakes, a dowry to inherit. No slaves, my Papa did not hold with such abhorrence.
The only thing I stand to inherit now are a rickety wagon, two tired horses, five dogs, and a bow. And that has to be shared with three brothers and a sister. Though a large part of me is filled with bitterness and sorrow for what we lost, I do recognize what we have now.
I do recognize the import of these things I have inherited. The soft foot step, so soft not even the sharp eared lynxes can hear me; that is from Papa. The rock hard steadiness of my hands, the swift clarity of decision; that comes from my mother. My dark look from my dark father and grandfather. And the curse of dreams from my beloved Nana.
Yes, these details of myself, these substances of myself that no one can
take, these are my inheritance.
Excerpt from Assignment #2: Inheritance:
"For your second prompt, please explore the nature of inheritance. What did your character inherit from her ancestors? Start with the physical things, perhaps hair color or right/left hand preference. Which elder passed on those glorious eyes? Did perhaps those same beautifully colored eyes come with less than perfect vision? If so, did glasses become their frame or their disguise and how was that choice affected by the attitude/behavior of the original bearer? This same perspective can be applied to so many of the gifts and even so-called curses we inherit from our family....
After exploring what your character has inherited, find some quiet time and space where you can imagine what one thing you would give as a legacy to your great grandchild. As straightforward as this sounds, I have experienced the most transformational meditation around this question.... This vision is like a picture I carry around in my heart locket. Every decision is weighed against that picture, each choice is compared to the unspeakable joy and rock solid love of that moment. However this meditation manifests for you, find a way for your character to make it real. Build it right into the fabric of her being so that her choices are impacted by the determination to achieve that legacy."