The stories we tell are the stories we live. We use them to make sense of life. Narrative structures inform our daily habits, keep us going. From ideas to ideologies, we create systems of shorthand about how the world works, who we are, why we are here, and what matters most. Most of these are not consciously chosen, but that doesn’t mean we can’t choose.
And if we keep telling the same stories over and over and over and over—we’re gonna get the same old stories. Over and over and over and over.
Violence. Violation. Victimization. Greed. Disconnection. Despair.
We are not helpless.
The stories we tell are the stories we live. We actually do choose what stories we tell (and therefore, what stories we live).* We are not helpless against the tide of cultural narrative. We are a part of the tide of cultural narrative. Anyone with an ounce of brain and a smidgen of exposure to politics knows that the tide of cultural narrative has some unhealthy currents running through it. Plenty of other writers have documented this (and continue to do so).
My interest is in telling new stories. I want to muck around with my own assumptions and insights and see what happens, I want to create and contribute to the eddies and whirls of narrative that connect, move, and open new pathways to new possibilities.
In many ways I don’t really know what that means, exactly. What I do know is that I use this blog as a space to bring my attention to the stories I tell, and the stories that others tell, and make deliberate choices about them. The format in which I do this will vary.
*Having agency to decide what stories we tell and live is not the same thing as having agency to decide what happens to us. There are absolutely circumstances over which we have no control. What I’m saying is we DO have control over how we tell that story–to ourselves and others–and how we tell that story will have a direct impact on what we do with the reality that is given to us.