Being home this week had nothing to do with the pandemic. It’s more about getting that manuscript completed for Lee Farrier, who is sharing his heart with the world.
My goal was to edit, edit, edit, to finish editing the manuscript. I managed to accomplish that, but I have not yet added the new photos. The text of the manuscript was sent to the editor last night. Progress!
Yesterday, I walked out on the porch to deadhead petunias. It was a break from standing at the computer like a pharmacist. (I do this to keep my neck happy.) There, on the side yard, I noticed a hawk circling. Silently circling.
Geese, robins, hummingbirds, butterflies come and go in the same space, but they migrate north or south.
I am more like a hawk. I weather the ice, the storms, the heat to stay in this little valley—content to know my neighbors, content to stay put inside my territory.
Back to the manuscript…. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent working on it, but I can tell you that each time I edit the work, there are moments when I still tear up. That’s a great sign!
Me, a poet, involved in writing a memoir. Never have dreamed of doing such a thing, but it’s happening. The pieces and the people have fallen together, and it’s happening. Lee R. Farrier lived the story out, he’s very much alive, and he has a great story.
When copies are available, I’ll tell the world, because I want people to have access to what I am calling a good book.
If you guessed that I’m a picky reader, you’d be right. When I’m reading any book, there goes my time, my energy. (Also, I was an English major in college, so picky is built in.) I want a story to surprise me, to show me, to make me think. I also want it to be well-written and make sense. True also about a movie or poetry. I often ask people to tell me names of good movies, good books. Not that easy for me to find.
Maybe I want too much? Maybe. But that’s the same criteria I’ve used in the writing of Going Home by Lee R. Farrier and Pat Durmon.
It’s called a memoir because it’s a true story of a life lived, based on the memories of that person. For Lee, it meant writing down the bones of his memories; for me, it meant piecing the bones together, adding flesh and skin to them. It took both of us, working together.
Lee Farrier, unlike me, lived much of his life like a migrating crane. He traveled widely after high school because of military and because he worked for Boeing in Wichita. Lee met many people along the way who impacted him, but none with more influence than the Norfork people. During his journey in this life, Lee also engaged in a private search to find his family of origin. All that travel, all those people, and he returned to his dear Norfork, Arkansas.
Norfork is home to Lee, maybe because this was the place where he was launched. He received a new lease on life here when he was six years old.
Can you tell that I’m excited about this book?! It feels to me like I’m giving you a preview of a special treat. And I never even knew I’d enjoy writing memoirs!
More information at a later time.
P.S. It feels like the Holy Spirit was urging Lee and me. It took me three years to follow the urging! Lee was better at listening and following than I was. I am now asking, “What, Lord Jesus, are you saying to my heart?”
"Home Sweet Home," a gift to Pat and Jimmy Durmon from Judy Fleming. Photographed by Pat Durmon, July 25, 2021.
Books by Pat Durmon
Lights and Shadows in a Nursing Home