typewriter_legswtypewriter_sample_img_2The characters in my novel, “The Wedding Garden” (in process) tolerate and grace me with the arduous task of introducing their memories to a public stage. They did this freely and with intent; arriving in a group where I had to overcome a whole host of voices speaking at the same time. This felt, to me, like some life-force had finally freed them from their ether of silence. And, I knew, somewhere in my memory, it was their time to be heard.

Early this morning, this blog came to me as easily as the name: Rose Eva Thistle. She is the centerpiece memory in the novel—the glue needed to hold together the storyline. That mix together of the characters: like the idea of Six Degrees of Separation.

My experience of writing the memories of others (those of the past or the now) is said best by William Faulkner in Requiem for a Nun: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Six Degrees of Separation

January 22, 2011 SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION {Article first published as Six Degrees of Separation on Technorati.}

Many of us, those in the six-degrees-of-separation group for certain, know the term, and maybe even its premise. The doubters, you know who you are, say, “…an observation of some merit, but I’ve never seen it work in my life.” Others, like me, have surely rummaged around the internet (not always accurate but forever expedient) in search of a deeper understanding of this enigma.

I do credit the internet for this description: “Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than six intermediaries…”

Okay, so now I have a technical/researched explanation. I take a swig of my morning coffee followed by the last bite of raisin toast and resume my tour of cyberspace in search of sites that can further my knowledge of this hypothesis. A jumping-off place where I hope to meld theory with experience: something I call Janet’s Life! I donate an hour of my creative time until that not-so-quiet voice in my head tells me, “Your novel is…!”

That same evening, as I set the table for supper, an insight begins to bubble like the water that cooks our pasta: The only multiplier to this 6° phenomenon is to play a part in it.

My search is over. I have my answer: Our world is connected, be it by six degrees of separation or amongst those at our kitchen tables. Awareness: How I treat others is never separated from me by more than six degrees.