I love the idea of thinking, unfettered, clear and high as the blue sky.
This is a mechanism of mine, based on blue-sky thinking.
I use it looking back at the past. I believe it is important, not to judge yesteryears, with the hindsight of today.
I immerse myself in their era when researching my family history. I endeavour to view life through their eyes.
Sometimes this proves very hard
My recent book was set in the 1930’s, when my family lived in Germany and Britain. I discovered a German Uncle who was an anti- Nazi campaigner, tortured by the Nazi’s for his beliefs.
My dilemma was writing about Hitler, without the taint of hindsight. It was a tough task, knowing full-well the horrors of the Nazi regime.
But blue-sky history, helped me to understand, members of my family, drawn to the Nazi party. I feel it’s important not to judge, people, actions from history.
To understand what happened, delay judgement. Not to do so is to miss the nuance of lives long gone and an understanding of their motivations.
It helps when travelling through torrid historical times. It helps to make sense of it all.
Then, your research may reveal a much bigger picture, than you ever imagined. Your judgement may then be very different. I know this was the case for me, writing Betweenwhiles. It helped reveal a family bravely rebelling against Nazism.
Blue-sky history has revealed new avenues of research; many lightbulb moments.
What are your thoughts? Do you judge the past by today’s standards?
Is blue-sky history for you?
Photos by MA Lossl. Balloon over Bath. Main picture, Balloon and seagull over Bath.