Tomorrow I start a ten day period where I will be living in the home I grew up in, and with some of the people I grew up with—my mom and dad. My dad just had a kidney removed, he’s 85 years old, and will take some time to recover. I’m traveling to Indiana help with his recovery.
Life is a mixing of the familiar with the new. The oak tree in our backyard still stands, but the cottonwood, honey locust, and weeping willow (the one I used to climb as a kid) are all long gone.
In the living room my mom’s piano, which she’s had for almost 60 years, occupies one wall. When their grandsons come over sometimes they use sheet music on an Ipad while playing.
With the exception of two, the other houses on my parents’ street have changed owners several times. Most of the backyards which used to provide short cuts have all been fenced in but I can still remember taking them.
In our stories we’ve got a couple hundred pages to create a meaningful and engaging, and hopefully page-turning, arc of growth. It doesn’t matter whether your story takes place over 24 hours or 24 months or 24 years. You take a life-cycle and you sort of compress it and expand it at the same time. You take an old theme, because there are no new ones, and shine a light on it from your experience and you see something new.
It’s old, and it’s new.