Thursday, June 14, 2012

A bowl full

I'm a note maker. I jot thoughts or reminders in my study journal, in my planner, in my email, in my phone. . . It seems like a theme comes up again and again when I go back and read these notes: stories.

Our stories. The importance of stories. The vitality in sharing our stories.

I recently listened to an interview that focused on encouraging us to share our stories. I wrote again, on a sticky note on my computer's dashboard: stories are important. we need to share our stories.


Spring two years ago I took a class on post-modern fiction. It sticks in my mind as one of my favorite classes in college—possibly my all-time favorite English class. In it, we talked a lot about truth. I remember reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. The same stories are told over and over highlighting different truths, perspectives. I think that's the advantage of telling your own story: you're in control of your truth.


Even my journal isn't always raw. When I write while feeling particularly emotional, my writing reflects more of the truth that I feel, but perhaps less of the truth that I actually experienced. When I go back to read what I wrote, a new truth takes shape; the truth that comes from retrospection and the understanding of place. It makes the whole life-truths thing a lot more blurry. But perhaps its better that way.

Recording our stories, rereading our stories, sharing our stories helps us suss out the relevant truths for that moment, and leave the less-important stuff to filter to the bottom. That is until we resurrect it again. Our stories are going through a constant cycle: they're shaken, sieved, and left to settle again and again.

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