‘Remember in Pieces’ by Linda Hegland
Life is a puzzle. Many a soul have tried to decode it in their own unique ways. When we look at it with a microscopic detail, it is but a culmination of moments and memories, expectations and experiences.Amazon USA
‘Remember in Pieces’ by Linda Hegland
- Publisher : Cyberwit.net (October 29, 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 86 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9395224193
- ISBN-13 : 978-9395224192
- Item Weight : 4.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.22 x 8.5 inches
Life is a puzzle. Many a soul have tried to decode it in their own unique ways. When we look at it with a microscopic detail, it is but a culmination of moments and memories, expectations and experiences. It is what it is. Eternal and mystic. Our author Linda Hegland presents to the readers with around 50 of her attractive rides to her nostalgic reminiscence. It is a collection of vignettes, verses and poems. In this endeavour she tries to find a ‘home’. Where the what and the who of her feels it belongs.
It begins with a vignette, ‘ Two A.M’, here she describes her feelings as they capture her thoughts at the break of day at 2 am, she is reminded of being a prairie girl once, who could pull on for nights long with no or less sleep and enjoy the day as it arrived, she writes, “I used to sneak in the door just before my mother’s alarm went off, make a pot of coffee, sit at the table and offer her a cup when she came in to the kitchen - as though I had woken just before her. I have been a mother with sons of the same age as I was then. Sons who also danced and conversed with the long, long night. I know now I didn’t have her fooled for one minute. But now, the shadows still accompany me. Once and awhile the cat. I nurse a smoky whiskey and a fragile memory or two. There is a quote I read somewhere that 3:00 a.m. knows all your secrets. I think that may be true. But I think 2:00 a.m. at least has an inkling”.
Following this is a poem titled ‘Caution…sharp edges’, Linda here shares the hurt of a heart in truly enthralling words. It took me by surprise as even though she being hurt wanted to give caution to her loved ones. She writes;
“…. I have left scars
and I keep scars of my own.
Catch your fingers on me and bleed;
best be careful of broken people…
…. You will not be carefully kept
with me; learn to deal
with the consequences
of a point too fine
I am dangerous.
Ground fine, jagged,
whetted . . . complex.
Caution . . . sharp edges…”
Another poem titled, “Silence Deafens”, is according to me a marvel. She very charmingly mentions the delicate difference of speech and silence. She writes;
“…. Words and worlds alluded to,
silent shrugs, exaggerated sighs.
The cacophony near dogging me to despair,
compelling doubt; the spoken word,
the uttered word. Not to be trusted,
steeped in deceit, broken promises.
Conversations that strangle in the throat.
Silence deafens me…”
In the ecstatic poem, ‘Moon’, Linda expresses her desire to hold the moon and keep it close. Also, she mentions how every time she thinks of cupping the moon, he quickly escapes. Surreal as it feels, she wites;
“…. But full moon to eyelash crescent;
just another star in my dark night,
just another space between my breaths,
turns a cold shoulder and leaves.”
‘High School Prom’, this vignette talks about Prom. Taken seriously by almost every high school going teen, Prom is a culture in itself. Linda very crisply conveys her thoughts with respect to the whole Prom-parading. To go or not to go, the dilemmas that surround the event, etc all emotionally touching. She mentions;
“My divorced mother spent money she didn’t have on buying me a dress. Not fancy by any stretch of the imagination but a dress (I lived in jeans and sandals), pale-coloured and long. She also paid for an ‘up-do’, hauling my waist-long hair up into a sculpted and lacquered style that weighed on my head like a stone. My father paid for photos. My boyfriend wore an old suit of his fathers’. The sleeves of the jacket and legs of the pants were pinned under with barely discrete safety Remember in Pieces 20 pins but I loved him for making the effort. He also had bought me a lovely, simple corsage of a single, white orchid. As we were going out of the door my father presented me with his other contribution to my ‘coming out’ - a big blousy purple corsage with which he replaced the one my boyfriend gave me. I slipped the white orchid into my purse.”
‘Greyhound Bus’; In this lovely poem, Linda describes the light yet heavy aspects of an everyday routine, as she travels to her preordained destination on a greyhound bus. She writes;
“……My breathe chokes
on egg salad and cold burnt coffee.
The sound of those whispering tires is
like a fine sharp wire through my head,
piercing. I can’t think. I
can’t feel. Anything. Anymore.
At some point
I sing along with the woman
and her hymns, page 16.”
In the vignette titled, ‘Old Wharf’, Linda gives makes one feel the solitude and longingness of a lieutenant’s wife, who stares at the horizon with amazement and appalment alike, as she writes,”… And how she stared off at the horizon, the horizon where the sky is stitched to the ocean; a long line of sutures that keeps the world from falling apart..”
‘Kayak in the bay’: In this poem, Linda, encapsulates the joy and thrill of riding a kayak on the bay. As the thoughts of seclusion and inclusion all flood her thoughts, she is immersed in her utter fancy to hold the swell of the milky way in her hands. She writes;
“….I want to see the stars in the sky held below me in the water;
and believe, with all my heart,
that I am paddling the swell of the Milky Way.”
In another visual treating vignette, titled, ‘A box of treasures’, Linda swiftly captures the readers mind by taking us to the memories which, I am sure every individual would have had at some point in life, that of a treasure box! It could be anything. Boxes which hold moments of past, which weave the present and maybe mirror a glimmering hope into the future. As she recollects all of her treasured belongings with sheer glee, she concludes to say, “... All of those things are gone now, of course. But I still remember what I held in that box, I didn’t lose them altogether. And now my overstuffed old journal where, on a page all by itself written in purple ink, so I don’t lose it, is “Our beautiful world is not meant to be broken”.
‘Layers’, in this poem of hers, Linda uses simile of onion layers and compares it to layers of memory. It is a refreshing take on the element called and pondered upon a lot, i.e. memory. Truly, memories are but layers of fine accumulation which are deep, but only the ones which have a huge impact in one’s life often tend to recur. She writes;
“…. And about how when you peel layers of onions,
you get to . . . nothing.
That’s probably why onions make you cry.”
In the vignette, titled, ‘Reflections on an Upside-Down World’, the Linda says, “There is a moss-covered fallen tree beside a puddle. And in that puddle, the world appears upside-down. Or, perhaps, that is the *real* world, there, in that puddle. And *we* are the reflection.” Here, she takes us into the life of a small puddle and her view of the world through its lenses. She makes one think of the world being upside down and how we as human-beings fit into this vast world.
As Linda, continues to recollect her reminisces and jot them down, here in the poem titled, ‘Remember this’, she lets the reader delve into her memory so clearly, such that, it is completely relatable to being there alongside her at the ocean and yet feeling a bit of loneliness which is universal. She writes;
“……I have stood at the edge of an entire ocean,
waves drinking at my naked feet,
swallowing everything that is left of me.”
In the vignette, ‘Falcons and Falling stars’, the Linda depicts the deliberate heartbreak of hers with such refinement, that somehow it wheels in the mind of a reader for long time. I for sure feel the bird that she wanted to be and chose to be. She writes, “You wished to catch stars in your hands. Grasp them until they gave up their wishes. But I wanted the stars to follow their instincts. To fall freely, to immolate themselves in the skin of the sky, with passion. The next day I told you to go away. The next day I broke your heart. Deliberately. You said. And the rumours on which small towns thrive said that you hated me. That I was faithless and untrue. As capricious as a falcon’s heart; as unstable as a dying star. But, in truth, I just wanted to be a bird that flew free. In truth, I just wanted to be a star that knew ecstasy.”
‘Place of Ocean-Tides and Heartbeats, in this poem, Linda smoothly takes us on sail through the beauty of ocean by the prairies, as she describes the sand, her feet, booming waves etc, she eloquently gives a visual picture of her lovely memory. She writes;
“…. Pulling back to the ocean
the waves gulped the breath from me,
sucked at the blood in my veins.
I would have followed
but my earth-logged feet
remained moored in the seaweed,
clasping me to shore…”
Linda’s writings convey honest emotions and encounters as they have been lived by her. Each of her write up pens a unique to itself saga and has a charm of its own. All of them are just and absolutely engaging. I for one am inspired by her writings, I too will begin to document the memories of my own, in my little capacity. I would like to recommend this book to all those who have the yearning to read about the lives and reminiscences of the people with distinctive qualities and heart-warming passion.
-By Gouri Sattigeri