Starting Stories

Once upon a time I was told that people don’t tell stories…. it is the stories that tell people. As if they have a life of their own and come TO us, rather than from us. I’ve come to think that it’s true.

In school we were taught rules about how to structure a plot and create a timeline. We were taught how to use narrative and perspective to affect the reader – and how drama and suspense would give the tale substance and motion. Everything was broken down to bits and pieces that could be taken apart and put back together again like a box of legos.

For me, though, stories never worked like that. I can’t see them as deliberate concoctions of words, filling up a custom-made mold. They can’t be planned like that. At best, they can be roped in and tethered – often reluctantly – to the intent that birthed them.This, however, changes them. It makes them something other than what they were supposed to be.

It is – in essence – the difference between finding new unexplored lands, and claiming them. If we step onto a new shore and instantly take it into possession, giving it name and purpose in our own worlds then everything discovered beyond that point will be seen through that perspective. It will already be ours… and the story will have been lost. Because we did not listen.

This blog is my attempt to not make that mistake. My attempt to listen instead of claiming.

I don’t expect that there will be anything more than intros, first paragraphs and fragmented lines of wouldbe inspiration on these pages, but I want there to be a place for them all the same. All too often I don’t take the time to capture the lines drifting into my mind, because I cannot see where they will lead me. Their purpose, their message, eludes me. So, I let them go with the notion that ‘this would have made a great opening for… something’.

Here presence is the important part. Not conclusion. It’s all about starting… and letting things develop into whatever they want to be.

Starting Stories

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