I keep journals. Journals possessing emotional streams of consciousness. Travel journals. Journals that read as an itemization of my day. Journals with ideas and impressions from anything and everything. But I also have a journal filled with quotes. Quotes from novels. Lines from poems. Dialogue from movies. Chains of words I find especially poignant and sometimes beautiful in their conciseness or imagery. One such quote comes from Brian Morton’s novel Starting Out in the Evening:
The world, the human world, is bound together not by protons and electrons, but by stories. Nothing has meaning in itself: all the objects in the world would be shards of bare mute blackness, spinning wildly out of orbit, if we didn’t bind them together with stories. – Brian Morton
Stories are inextricably a human thing. We are entertained by them. We are lulled to sleep by them. From them we not only learn about others, but more importantly we learn about ourselves.
Living a life that serves as a basis for our own stories.
My fear is that young people are indifferently coasting through life with no stories of their own to tell. That families aren’t sharing anecdotes about growing up. That there are no more tales starting with “when I was your age” told around the supper table:
“What did you do today young man?”
“I dunno. Played my video game.”
“What else did you do?”
“Nothing? You must have done something else.”
“I dunno. I can’t remember”.
What if we looked at each day as a story to be told? Would the sky be bluer? Would the people we work with be more interesting to behold? Would what we say be more scintillating?
Everyone should go someplace somewhere all alone if only for a day. Someplace new. Someplace never before seen by your eyes. To discover and meet and smell and taste a new environment.
Be a new character in a new setting. With a wide-eyed curiosity that is stronger than insecurity and indifference.
To take bits and pieces of information. Data colored by emotion.
A life’s tapestry that is more than a history.
And string them all together
to form something
exclusively our own.