Thursday, May 3, 2012

Stories and liquid modernity

Last Sunday, we listened to one of Neal A Maxwell last talks. The talk felt so grandfatherly to me.

While listening I thought about stories—my stories, others' stories—and why they matter at all. It comes back in a small way to creating community, I think. Stories also matter because they serve as one more reminder that we're a work in progress and so is everyone around us.


The hard thing about stories is that they're slippery. Events slide into other events. Picking the starting point when recounting a story always proves difficult. Even stories like: how I met my husband, because truth is there is a point where I met him, but there were months of events that brought me to that point. And years of events before that. You see?


Several months ago Mike told me about a term he has just learned: Liquid Modernity. The term seems so fitting. "Nomadism becomes a general trait of the liquid modern man, as he flows through his own life like a tourist, changing places, jobs, spouses, values and sometimes even more. . ." When the world we live in is more-or-less a liquid one, it's no wonder why it seems so scarey and people seem so lost. It's also no wonder why we have the compulsion to record our wanderings—to give a sense of place, stability, or momentary solidarity. That way, in moments of retrospection we can see that we are indeed forging a path, that we're moving forward, even if it seems like we're constantly sliding off the road.

I think this is one of the strongest under-pinning of my faith: I believe in God because He is the only stable thing I know to exist. In a world of eternal change, I hold to the Unchangeable One, because it makes me feel rooted in something solid.


I often come back to the question: Why am I doing this? Am I blogging for myself? To clear my brain and help me sort through experiences? To record my life? Am I blogging for my posterity? So they can see the ways I change and grow? Am I blogging for others? It this time I spend daily to help others? To give them tips? To give them insights? To give them a story?

Honestly, I'm not sure. And it changes from post to post. But one thing that constantly hums in my head while I think or talk or write is that our stories matter. I don't know a better, more powerful way to say it: our stories matter.

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