KaBooM WritersKaBooM Writers

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!


The KaBooM Writers Notebook: Our Blog

The Season Turns, and History is in the Air

“We sure need some rain” is the refrain heard as leaves crunch underfoot. The morning sunlight takes longer to show itself, and the evening dark creeps more quickly than we expect. The season is turning. So many of these words could apply to lives lived generations before our own. While the feet of those earlier people would not have trod the asphalt and concrete my feet know, their sense of seasons, their concern for the weather — so much of this entirely human experience would be theirs as well.

Unidentified Union Soldier and FamilyFrom the Library of Congress, “Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with wife and two daughters”

Yet my life is so different from those so long ago, a fact I am reminded of this as this week on PBS stations, Ken Burns’s Civil War series is rebroadcast. For lessons in history more up close and personal in Central Kentucky, Camp Nelson holds its commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the war this coming weekend.

As I watched the images of the first episode of that series scroll past last night, I was struck by the use to which Burns put the photos. Unidentified Union Soldier and FamilyBy focusing on the hands of the photographic subjects, for example, so that as viewers we are reminded that these people reached for each other for comfort and reassurance even in the photo studio, Burns manages to cause us to see what we might otherwise miss. In this family photo, I imagine the daughter to the father’s right slipped her hand between his, even as she watches the camera with her chin slightly lifted, her gaze electric.

Writing about history when we are not historians can be challenging, but allowing historical artifacts and words to move us, and then prompt us to respond, strikes me as an essential activity. Last night as my family watched the television, my son, a senior in high school, recited whole passages as the actors read from letters and journals. “How do you know that?” I asked, startled. “The Titus Andronicus album Monitor is all about the Civil War,” he shrugged. “I guess they used a lot of these quotes for their lyrics.” What a resource he has, to know, by heart, many of these lines.

History lives as long as we recall it to ourselves. Participating in the lives of those who came before us by reminding ourselves of their struggles, hopes, and dreams, enlarges our world. As I recall the spring that lead to this autumn, I find myself recalling the cycles of lives that breathed air so similar to my own. It’s a humbling sensation, but also one that grants me essential perspective.

 

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