I was Here I was here I was here

Last month, I did author visits in Abu Dhabi, and on my day off, I visited a sumptuous golden palace that has a machine in its lobby that dispenses gold.  (The amount one pays for an ounce of gold is updated every 60 seconds.)

Dignitaries from all over the region stay in some of the more elegant rooms, and we got to poke our plebian heads in and imagine what it would be like to be a guest.  Fresh flowers are arranged each day just in case someone does check in to the room–and their sad, wilted selves are taken out, unseen except by whomever did the arranging, most days.  No one loved their brief beauty.  No one knew they were there.

Our fellow visitor on the tour was from Kuwait.  She was eager to have her picture taken everywhere.  I got so fascinated with all this that I wanted to take pictures of her having her picture taken.

Is it one of the reasons we write?  Does something in us long to say I WAS HERE?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “I was Here I was here I was here

  1. Uma Krishnaswami

    What an interesting question, Jane. But hey, you chose to take pictures of the story in progress around you, rather than have someone take pictures of you. I wonder if writers have a need to be on the outside of the story recording it rather than within it being participants. The placement of the “I” becomes really complicated and interesting.

  2. Tom Birdseye

    Writing is by nature a dichotomy; we stand back and observe the whole — life and how our story reflects it — but also immerse ourselves in our characters and live the story with them. Mental hopscotch. Can make one crazy.

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