The Far Side of Stories


From the place between stories, it’s worth reaching over to the far side of stories. Especially if your take on the place between is as a temporary aberration, before the normal service of being in full possession of a story is resumed.

Stories, yes, are the enchanted threads of human consciousness, weaving meaning, possibility, senses of purpose and belonging with extraordinary tenacity across cultures, over land and water, and through time. As pop psychological parlance has it, human beings are believed to be ‘hard-wired for narrative’ – as far as I know the only species though to be so configured. The right to tell one’s story – and to have that story heard and respected – isn’t among the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet a compelling case could be made that it ought to be. Telling stories has a special power over silencing (whether by overlooking or brute force), and in gaining traction over the sudden traumas of life and death. When my father died several years ago, I called a close friend who lost his mother very young, and remember his encouragement to me to narrate what had happened because – and I believe he was right about this – “it’s important to tell the story.” Continue reading “The Far Side of Stories”