As my audience listened to some of my longer stories, the more meandering ones, those more punctuated by tangents, and tantalizing asides about others, I sensed trust, the same kind of trust I put into a good writer. Trusting that no matter how disjoining the stories might seem in the telling, still they might amount to something in the end. And, I found delight in the impossibility of telling one story, without telling all the others, of leaving something behind. As a writer, I know there is no such thing as a simple story.
Now I cannot resist my own inclination to elaborate, embroider and explain.
A story is subject to a spreading force, radiating from the center in all directions. But, when marveling at how much light a story can shed, it can also be mysterious, ambiguous, a wonder and a weapon. It can become a vortex, spiraling inward, and turning on itself, like a serpent swallowing its own tail.
Much of our stories exist beyond the usual time and space continuum that a life inhabits. Nevertheless, our life stories are not in a vacuum, they happened in the real world, in our lives, which is why certain aspects of reality can best be captured in narrative.
Everything has a history and you cannot follow someone’s life story without examining the thread. Life is ever moving forward, both with and without us. Did you ever wonder when they took the story out of history?
Putting our history or stories onto paper requires courage, honesty and the determination to visit and reenact the past. And, anyone can live without writing one. When you’re your gone, those who knew you will remember you for awhile. A friend or family member may admire you through a photograph; however, the essence of your character set down in words, written as only you can tell it, will let your spirit thrive well beyond the fading of a once glossy image.
You might say, “I don’t have what it takes, to make a story sparkle.” “Nonsense,” I answer. What’s more, I guarantee, once you search those hard to reach, dusty corners of the mind seeking memories that reside in your heart, you will burn with the desire to write, which is exactly what will make your story sparkle.
Forgive me if I digress but I already know how stories are made.
I couldn’t and still don’t begin my day until I journal. This act of faith has been my salvation.
A life story is not just about events, it’s about the journey. Write and salvage memories while you relive your life in possibly a more meaningful way than ever before. Everyone loves a good story, especially since you lived to tell it!