With eerie premonition, Bloganuary’s final question is “What would you title the chapters of your autobiography?”
With Bloganuary’s first question about what I was hoping to achieve this year, I answered vaguely and ambiguously about improving my writing across several genres. Behind this, I have been wondering how to respond to a request to write my autobiography following almost fifty years in public ministry.
I am at the “gathering material” stage – collecting old photos, journals, diaries, and making notes of how they might come together. Sorting these out into a storyline that can be divided into chapters is an arduous task with some hard decisions to make. Will my story be told chronologically or thematically? The keepers of the archives will want a historical documentary. This would go against my grain. I’m a storyteller looking for particular expressions of universal themes. I look for the “why?” more than the “what?”
So it will take more time than this evening to set out neat chapters of my story.
I will, however, disclose that the first chapter is to be called The Shoulders We Stand On. I don’t believe we can tell our story without telling the story of those who have influenced us – even before we have started our journey. Some of us are able to delve back many generations and discover uncanny twists and turns of fate that affect who we are today. Even if we can’t go back so far, there is a village that raised us. Some have named this the constellations of which we are a part. Constellations was going to be the alternative title for this opening chapter, but seemed a bit obscure, so I’ll use it for this blog post instead!
So The Shoulders We Stand On will be Chapter One!