Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It Really Happened That Way vs. It Rarely Happened That Way

When you begin making lists of things you want to do such as which books to read or which music to listen to or which plays to see or which book project you wish to work on, or with whom you would cherish a conversation, you begin to wonder not only who within you is in charge but about the wisdom of making such lists in the first place.

In fact, the act of seeking some guiding taste much less wisdom often seems daunting.  It also seems you are  at times the target of a corporate takeover with contesting shareholders lobbying for your signed proxy.

It is a wonder you get anything done with all that territorial clamor going on within. The wonder inherent brings you to the conclusion that every event in which you participate deserves its own special narrative voice.  Life would probably be simpler if you could deal with it as you deal with revision and self-editing, replaying words, postures, and attitudes, but life is not nearly so malleable nor cooperative as story; you must settle on a narrative voice then go forth until you find yourself in an untenable position.  Even then consequences are hovering about, waiting on your decision.  Life and story have in common consequences; without consequences life is not a life truly engaged nor is story a pathway to a fair resolution.  Life is rarely as resolvable as story; it is too filled with extraneous details reminding you that it is not about you.  Naturally you turn to story, which often turns out not to be about you but nevertheless suggests the potential for being yours.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

"you must settle on a narrative voice then go forth until you find yourself in an untenable position."

For me, not settling on a narrative voice has often lead to an untenable position as well, much to my dismay. Writing forces me to claim, then put into practice my true narrative voice, regardless of the consequences.