You may recall I discovered a short German poem I'd learned as a child in Jane's book, "All Together In One Place." After searching for years, I finally got the translation in her book. Jane read my post, and had some fascinating details to add. Rather than re-write her comments in my words, I'm going to quote her directly (with her permission, of course).
"Oh good. The German poem. I've heard from people in Ohio and someone in Florida, who also said they'd memorized that poem as a child, but didn't really know what it meant. They were so pleased to find it in my book.
"My nephew took German in high school. He and my dad were talking about German, which was my dad's first language. The discussion triggered my dad's memory (one of those river-tooth moments), and he recited the poem. We all asked him what it meant, and I wrote it down on the back of a paper plate never imagining I'd use it one day. I'm so glad I had it, especially now that he's gone.
"I'm glad your family carries the story even further on and links people in far away places together as only God's family can do!"
I responded to Jane's email and requested permission to share the above story. Here's her reply.
"Of course, feel free to share that story. You're absolutely correct about the little things affecting us so dearly. James David Duncan (author of The River Why and others) talks about River Teeth -- those portions of the trees that fall into rivers and appear submerged but they keep collecting leaves and branches as the river flows along. He says those little things that come to us in memory are like river teeth. Something catches us in the present moment and takes us back.
"As writers, we can often build those snippets into scenes or even entire books! How they affect me is that they appear in stories, deepening a character perhaps but also hopefully reminding readers of the value of their own nearly forgotten moments that if looked at, even briefly, can bring us insights into our lives today. Jane"
I don't know about you, but I'd love to sit down with Jane over a cup of tea and listen to her talk about the writing life. By the way, I was so happy she explained what the term, "river-tooth moments" meant. LOL! In Part II, Jane answers my questions.
Do you have little memories that pop up in your writing? Do you write down day-to-day happenings that may someday provide a scene or storyline?