Once upon a time….

I’ve been thinking about stories.

The word has been appearing everywhere I look.

I can’t tell whether it appears because I’m looking or whether it has always been there. It seems loaded and significant, though I can’t articulate the reason to myself. My story. Her story. His story. History. Narrative. Shared imagination. Story-telling. The importance of voice. A blurring of the line between fiction and non-fiction. The subjectivity of truth.

It has been driving me slightly crazy.

There are strange intersections and I have been searching for a thread that weaves it all together. Trying to join the dots between words – and people – and stories – and media – and awareness –

Maybe story-telling is part of how we understand the world?

This is what I have heard but I don’t fully grasp the sentiment. To me, stories have always been definite rather than dynamic, works of fiction, rather than a way of writing out our truths. This might be where I’ve been going wrong. There is something in the interplay between life and story that I keep coming back to. An interaction that I have been trying to figure out –

I realised the other day that I tell stories backwards. Wait until the ending and then track back through the narrative. What would happen – I have been wondering – if I wrote the other way around. If “once upon a time” started today.

I read an article on guiding images and creative insight earlier this week. On the importance of a creative (and collective) imagination in moving societies forward and overcoming some of the challenges we face today.

The concept impressed me.

It means that the imagination and stories dance with life. That rather than waiting, passively, for the ending; we might be able to influence where the narrative goes. At first, the images live in the imagination, and then the story comes into life.

I am a little embarrassed by my black and white thinking. There are also some stories that I’ve been telling myself that I’d really like, at this point, to change.

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5 responses to “Once upon a time….

  1. Stories are dynamic and can change, twist and morph. I like the idea of everything and everyone having a story – not just because it’s more imaginative to think like that but because it’s true! If you keep the creative notion that your life is a story things are not only more fun 😛 but also you’re more likely to realise that you can control where it’s going and effect the narrative. (I was going to write ‘effect the ending’ but it never really ends because the story is dynamic, keeps on going and weaving in different directions. It’s an ongoing work-in-progress and not a ‘definite’ thing to look back on).

    Anyway to wrap it up, thanks for the thought provoking post. It’s a great reminder that things aren’t black-and-white and that storytelling is an essential part of being human and experiencing life. 🙂

  2. And I would like to change the story so that that last post said “affect” and not “effect”. Maybe it helps prove a point. There have been flaws or failures, but you can dynamically alter the future in the ongoing story… and that story won’t have schoolboy spelling errors and silly mistakes. 🙂

    (sorry for taking up your blog space. On with your story…) 😀

    • Yes – reckon we all have a story. And then there are stories that we tell ourselves to explain things. And then those that we imagine when we’re looking forward. And ones that we take for granted. And cultural stories that represent beliefs. And probably a million more.

      (I wouldn’t have noticed the spelling mistake. Ooops. Some seriously flaws in my English degree!). xx

  3. I always try to assume that every thing that happened before today is just back story, the interesting, wonderful, horrible, tragic and beautiful minutia that make a story rich. But yeah, the story starts now.

    By the way, I love this post. Sometimes the answers are less interesting than the questions. At the very least, they have to be asked before they can be answered. Go you.

    • Thank you for getting this. I thought I was being way too obscure and I still have stuff to say about stories that I can’t articulate (or locate yet). I absolutely love the idea of back story. Spot on. The context. Maybe starting from now is part of moving towards the future rather than looking back for me. I wonder if it’s as simple as changing the tense.
      xx

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