Category: memoir

The Dress as Ritual

Bob thinks this little piece is buried too deep in the page called “Ritual in Memoir and Fiction” so we’re moving it to a post. We’ve been writing about ritual for years–meaning characters (or inhabitants in memoir) go through ritual change. So how does ritual work? First, there’s nothing abstract about ritual. When you link ritual to an object, you automatically layer the ritual by adding a time component. In a bonding ceremony called a “Wedding”, the ritual act of ring exchange (the primary object) takes place in a limited place within a limited and fixed amount of time, the time it takes the ecclesiastical or civil power to consummate the bond—usually a few minutes. The changes, however, are enormous. Let’s look at the secondary object in the wedding ceremony—the Dress. The ritual of marriage itself is simple: State 1-Unmarried Ritual act-Exchange of Vows and Rings. State 2-Married. So simple, yet so complex for the subtext leading up to the ritual of separation. The ring is one object. The dress is another matter. The wedding dress—white, pink or yellow—is the last in a series of dresses that prime the inhabitant for the ceremony of the ring and for the ceremonial act of bonding. The dress is an index to an emotional condition called “love.” What does the inhabitant who wears the dress want? and what does she have to...

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How to Develop the Memoir Moment

© 2010 by Jack Remick and Robert J. Ray Think of the memoir as a series of frozen moments in the past that you free with your writing. The structure of the moment can be seen as a theme with variations in much the same way a jazz musician or a classical composer works theme and variations. Think of the people in your memoir as inhabitants of a secret world each on hiding behind a mask that needs to be lifted. The problem of memory and mind is chaos. Memory doesn’t work in a straight line but seems to come from all around you. One thought or memory trains into another and pretty soon you’ve got a whole cloud of feelings surrounding you. How do you get some control of the chaos of memory? You use the Memoir Moment. Musical in nature, deep in meaning, loaded with subtext, the memoir moment contains a delicious, sometimes hilarious, often painful memory that has etched itself in your unconscious To get to the memoir moment, you follow your mind and your memory by writing about Firsts and Lasts — the first time I bled, the last time I kissed… Firsts and  Lasts are Thresholds that you and the inhabitants of your memoir cross  on the life journey. The first time initiates, the last time severs with pain or memory or nostalgia. To...

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©2010-2017 Jack Remick, Robert J. Ray. All rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including text and images, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Short excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jack Remick and Robert J. Ray and "Bob and Jacks Writing Blog" with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.