Do you know how in a book or a movie where the writer will use the weather to create or support the mood in the narrative? For example, sun shining and birds singing when a character is in love or storm clouds, thunder and then rain when the break up happens? It is such a common tool writers use to create mood and it’s one I love to wield in my own writing.
Sometimes I feel like I’m reading a good novel when I read Babu’s journals. But they are not fiction, they are really her life, yet…I don’t know if it is the way she writes, or if there is a little magic in these pages…
Sometimes it’s not like that. Sometimes it’s just an account. Sometimes page after page, day after day it’s a little dry and a little boring. Sometimes it’s trite and self absorbed. (It was her own journal so it is absolutely allowed to be.)
Well, January gave me a little tickle. That tickle that makes you doubt what’s a little bit magic and what is mundane. It’s in the coincidences. The details. The paying attention to them.
Babu loved going out in the evenings to skate.
There’s this night:
Saturday, January 16th, 1937
Went for my lesson today and all is peaceful so far. Dad only said a few words. Professor gave me Beethoven Sonata Pathetique. Mother and Dad went to Holyoke and Zosh and I went skating. We got there and only a few people were skating so we waited and waited. Finally we got on. Met Raymond Broue who graduated with me and we talked and skated for over an hour. The ice was very smooth but not very safe. We stayed in the safe vicinity and watched stars. Raymond is rather intelligent.
What a nice time and what clear, beautiful skies. (That’s inferred by the star gazing.)
But not all of her evenings out on the ice were lovely and romantic:
Thursday, January 28th, 1937
Natalie, Sophie, Johnny Krol and I went skating tonight. A crowd of which Zosha’s brother Edward was one, got fresh with the girls. They took my hat and glove. I slapped one of the boys. Skated with Zosh’s brother till I got my hat from one of the boys. The moon and stars were shining but it got cloudy afterwards and looks like rain.
Does anyone get what I’m trying to say? Romance = stars and Conflict = clouds and threat of rain.
The only thing that makes this interesting to me is that it is not the crafting of a writer, but yet her real-life life seeming to fit a pattern she never noticed herself.
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And of course all of that “fresh” activity was part of the courtship ritual. Secretly, the girls probably loved it.
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