Writing frees us up for past recollections

Writing has opened me to a world above and beyond my five senses and I feel like an HG Wells whenever I revisit the past and recall what life was like when I was fortunate enough to stop the world for a few brief moments and write about something.

The earliest “something” must have been while I was in grade school and I remember how I wrote about wanting to be Marine when growing up. I was influenced by the hymn (“From The Halls of Montezuma“) and I saw myself fighting for some right as I stormed up the hill os Iwo Jima.

The next dream-like meandering found me serving as an actor. I’d be a Jimmy Stewart or a Gregory Peck. Someone that would appear in front of a bunch of people in a good way to influence them to do some good for themselves and others.

Both of the early writing sojourns occurred while being taught by Catholic nuns. I wanted to “serve” and that’s where my writing seemed to take me.

I didn’t write much in high school but found myself feeling ostracized and completely different from the fellows I grew up with in the old neighborhood. I felt an empathy for those around me and couldn’t understand how my friends could bad-mouth them and try to degrade them for the color of their skin, their religion or their place of origin.

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I wrote a few poems about how hurt I felt and a kind of a sadness that never really got away from me.

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And then there was the war and the aftermath that caused such a rage to grow in me years after the wounds took their toll on me. I didn’t know it then, but the anger made its way into my very being and I found I could relieve myself through meditation and writing about post-teaumatic stress and the debilitating effect combat  inflicts years after the mortars stop falling on the troops you once lead at the age of 21.

Years later, I was able to write about joyous such things like jumping out of an airplane and comparing it to a snowflake making its way to earth. I studied journalism and found I loved to write — all types of writing to include straight news and editorials — once getting a Sigma Delta Chi award for journalism and then writing a speech for then Pennsylvania Governor Milton J Shapp.

My writing reached what I call a crescendo when I was forced to “go out on disability” from the PTSD I suffered in the war, and I started a Blog that let me open myself to so many possibilities. Writing has continued to be the life-line for me and I hope to continue it in one of my next incarnations.

You ought to try it sometime. Write your own history while you still can remember it.

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11 comments on “Writing frees us up for past recollections

  1. contoveros says:

    The following are exchanges shared on Facebook:

    Nicole Ruser
    *sigh* Ok, fine. *logs off Facebook to go write some more*
    Contoveros:
    Just Write Nicole, Just Write!
    — That’s kind of catchy, isn’t it?
    —————-
    Tamara Ambros
    Glad you have an outlet!
    Contoveros:
    It beats yelling at the television at night!
    —————–
    Rose DeLone
    Never a dull moment at Just Write!
    Contoveros
    I cannot believe what happened to our peaceful writing group. You were marvelous and courageous.
    Something very dark got dug up and it spewed onto all of our laps. I did not like it and I wish there was some way we could prevent such an eruption in the future. Hang in there, girl. We got your back and won’t let anything happen to you and the others verbally attacked yesterday…
    Michael J
    Rose DeLone
    Oh, I am fine. Thank you. I just feel bad the group had to deal with such a negativity.
    Contoveros:
    I don’t know about you but could have really gone for a drink or two . . .
    Rose DeLone
    Oh my gosh. Anne-Marie wanted to get a drink, but I knew if I went for a drink there would be 3 drinks following. I told her we definitely need to get a drink sometime, so maybe you can join us.
    Contoveros:
    Count me in girl! Next Tuesday sounds good. No more than two glasses of red wine for me.
    I wish we could have gone yesterday. Patty could have used a drink or two also.
    Rose DeLone
    I agree!
    ——————–
    Fred Tomasello Jr.
    Everyone who writes their story benefits themselves and others. So THANKS!
    Contoveros
    Let’s see what a true Marine can dig up from his past.
    In the meantime, I’ll salute you and say “Namaste!”
    Fred Tomasello Jr.
    Took me 7 years to write this, Mike. From 2001 to 2008. It’s all in here, my friend; everything:
    https://www.lulu.com/shop/fred-tomasello-jr/walking-wounded-memoir-of-a-combat-veteran/paperback/product-5478882.html
    Fred Tomasello Jr.
    Namaste and a heartfelt hug back at you my friend and brother.
    Contoveros
    I just ordered the book. It’s about the Civil War, right?
    Fred Tomasello Jr.
    Love you, man. Now stay “civil”!

    m>

    Like

  2. I wonder what will become of my journals. I started writing in HS… interesting looking back though. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      I wrote in a journal about something I later transcribed onto a computer and a fact I had never realized jumped out at me as if it was a Buddhist “Satori.” I truly did not know — or perhaps, did not want to know — what had happened until the mere act of transcribing brought the shocking truth to me.

      I don’t think I would have realized it unless I undertook that experience. It was eye-opening and life-shaking!

      See: https://contoveros.com/2015/01/19/it-was-me-the-viet-cong-was-trying-to-kill/

      Like

      • Holy crap Michael, I just got the message here and I have to reflect on the story some… what I feel though, and the perspective I take now on “why life” is that it was your choice to live, to survive, and yet only to realize this so many years later. You helped those souls in you charge survive … it all has meaning, it is a free will universe, yet so many abdicate their natural rights … Do you ever speak to the men in your platoon?

        Like

        • contoveros says:

          I have had no contact with any of the guys I served with except for a fellow lieutenant from Arkadelphia, Ark. He was Charlie Ellis. I spoke to him on the phone a few years ago after finding his number from his mother who was still alive.

          He had a degree in Economics when I knew him in Vietnam. He was a tall southern boy with a lazy drawl to his voice. He came up through ROTC while Victor Lee Ellinger — the other junior officer — and I went to OCS.

          I learned that he had “found God” and became a lawyer just like me, serving as a public defender somewhere in Arkansas. We talked about our buddy who was killed by a sniper and commented on how moving our visit to the Vietnam Veteran Memorial was for both of us.

          A damn public defender. Still practicing. Still journeying on his spiritual path.

          The Universe is amazing and you can never truly understand the wisdom that is out there!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so great! I went skydiving and never once compared that to a snowflake! I love that parallel. Writing your history is so hard…. aaah, but if you choose to dive in, it’s…freeing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      Yes, gliding on the air in the wold blue yonder can be exhilarating. So can the recall of a feeling of “oneness” with the universe as you look at the beautiful world all around you.

      You know what I mean. There’s nothing quite like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So very agree with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy you found writing. I agree, it does take one to another place. Keep writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      It’s fun and you get to keep a record of some of the stuff you discover by going within and putting it on paper.

      (OK, typing it onto a computer screen!)

      Like

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