“Congratulations! A literary Grandma Moses!” my first cousin, Shirley, quipped when I posted the news on Facebook that The Globe and Mail planned to publish the personal essay I had submitted. I scoffed at her comment. Then I did some sleuthing about the later-in-life painting sensation, Grandma Moses, and got a little creeped out.
- Obviously, she was a grandma. So am I.
- She grew up in a rural community. So did I.
- Her paintings depicted farm life as she remembered it growing up. That’s funny. Many stories that came to light when I started to write memoirs are about my childhood on a farm.
- She was in her seventies when her work appeared in public for the first time. Ditto.
- She wasn’t part of the artistic scene of the day. I haven’t taken much interest in literary matters throughout my life.
- She was healthy in her old age and lived to be 101. Good for her. That’s my goal, too.
Do you get why I was a bit taken aback by the parallels?
I do remember loving one of the few books I had as a child, The Little Engine That Could. Perhaps I will make something of this crazy idea that at least some people will clamor to read what I write. I think I can. I think I can.