The world is made of stories.
Everything has a way of living. A life that it lives and a path that it walks. The universe is a story, beginning, middle and end. And everything in it has a story, woven together and around each other.
This is the fabric of everything. Or at least, everything we can comprehend, and a hell of a lot of what we can’t. Stories don’t just let us look at reality, they go deeper, into the things behind it.
They also show us the past, and take us into the future.
There are wonderful things, but they are dangerous too. Sharp and fraught with risk.
Because stories are lies, as well as truths.
The thing about stories, is that they are not just bits of reality. They are not just things that spring from nature, fully formed. They are mediated objects. They are filtered through the teller’s eyes and mouth and heart. And some eyes see wrong. Some mouths distort. And some hearts are broken.
But it’s okay. Because there’s a restorative.
It’s still stories. The stories inside, and the stories that we can’t always phrase right.
Someone noted this weekend, that every living being shows us a different way of living. Everything that is alive is being alive in a very particular way. These are stories. These lives are things we should listen to.
Because there’s something to learn from anything and everything.
The stories I want to tell are ones that reconnect us to the stories we can’t actually hear. The stories beyond our comprehension.
And I don’t even mean the gods and the abstracts and the philosophies. I just mean the ones in languages we can’t ever learn. The stories of the sheep and the trees and the worms and the soil.
It’s not simple. But it’s something I seek to connect to.
But this isn’t even where this question came from. This is a reaction to the first answer I heard, which was ‘tell your own story’. Which is probably important. It’s important to tell the stories of how we are how we are, so that people can find kinship and connection across the oceans of life.
But, well. I think that focus on the me and the now is dangerous in extremis. It’s precisely the thing that’s getting us in this horrific, self-obsessed, brutality fueled mess.
I think the stories we should tell are stories we’re ready to pass on to new generations. We need to relearn the old stories. Reconnect to long dead mystical worlds. Worlds in harmony with the world. The wholes together.
I’ve spent too long on my story. I want to shift focus. Make my story bigger. Bring in the universe, and see myself as the tiny dancing speck I am.
And before we start telling, we should be listening. There’s a lot of story to catch up on, the story brought us here.
Our stories should stretch back and forward, infinitely.
Into everything. Forever.
Illustration by Helen.