We are our stories.
“We are the stories we tell ourselves,” she said. “We are the stories we believe. We are the stories we sing and speak. We are the stories we enjoy. We are our stories.” _Myosheka Series
We are the stories we run from, attempting to escape our own story. We are the stories we run to seeking the meaning of our unfolding story, seeking to discover how to be better in the next chapter of the current story, seeking to learn how best to shape that part of the story that wants to be heard above the rest. When we are not running, when we are not seeking, when we are not telling our story, we are hiding – whittled and woven into the stories of others so brilliant, we blend in unnoticed – artfully blotted out.
For what we are, they are. Stories!
And yet each of us is but one letter in the story of the universe. A necessary letter.
We are as integral a part of each other’s story as the universe is of each of us. Your story does not exist outside of mine. It cannot. My story is not denied by the existence of yours. It simply will not be denied. Your story and mine are irreversibly intertwined. Your nightmare is part and parcel of my nature; we nurture both together. My story is incontrovertibly yours – even in denial – and yours, with all of its joys, with all of its farce, flaws, falsities and failures, very much mine; nurtured, like parents of the same child. Or monkey.
Who, then, is the architect of your story, designing each and every plot twist – that story you and I are destined to tell? Who is the architect of that story, when I am a letter free to roam the pages upon which it is being penned, that story to which your signature – and yours alone – appends? Who writes each word there and then?
d) none of the above?
We are stories and the tellers of our stories, but who is the writer of your story?
Our time is enriched with bussed loads of storytellers – great conjurers, great spinners of particles of truth, particles brushed loose from the nothingness of our universe, particles flaked free from the constant bombardments of untethered imagining, karmic particles fleshed into being by the sutras of our joyous entanglements, great whisperers, great utterers of our secret spells – storytellers bussed into our time from timelessness, great storytellers whose mouths are full of life’s barley and hops and yeast gargled up from the bowels of calamity, cured, and spewed through the sparse of monstrous teeth. We tap them. My cup runneth over with their finest brews. “Drink up,” they say, “and behold the sparkles – a shining speck of the universe revealed to no one else. Drink up. Show us what you feel.” Great storytellers. So many! But who is the teller of your story – the story of that necessary letter? Is it a story so poorly written, its best not messed with, rather, tossed and started anew? Then do it. Now is the time to begin again. Your story! It is a story nurtured in your nightmares, nestled in your nature. It’s a story no one else can see, no one else can reveal, no one else can write, no one else can tell. And yet you’ll find in it mine and yours inextricably intertwined. But tell your story. You cannot tell mine. Not well enough.
We have great storytellers in our time. Let me name a favorite few inevitably encountered along The Journey: J.K Rowling, Maya Angelou, Beyonce, Steven Hawkins, TD Jakes, Johnny Depp, Martha Argerich, Martin Scorcese, Spike Lee, and the list goes on. It is not a lonely road – just one missing many worthy stories. No one sees the whole. The seer of each piece, each portion, each speck, is necessary. Maybe the monster hides in your blot of darkness. Maybe, there hangs the key. Maybe, there waits the child. It’s the spot only you can see. So how do the great ones do it? How do they conjure, whisper, spin and utter so well the story of their spot that it causes us to tremble, to laugh, to leap forward and smile? What’s their secret? What’s their process?
There is not only one way. It is enlightening to discover their ways. And a lot of fun peeking at each other’s unique way. Show me your muse and I’ll show you mine.
Texas writer and magazine editor, Melissa Tinning, discusses on The Journey (Listen Here) the important role writers play in the the perfecting of each other’s work and the inspiration she gets from frequenting DC’s finest museums and cherry blossoms. “It is important to get a different perspective,” she explained. She stresses the value of craft and community, and the security of knowing that someone has your back.
When seeking (or convening) a writers group be sure it is capable of meeting your particular creative/writing needs as well as the creative needs of its members. Here are are a few pointers to consider when selecting such a group.
- Is the group safe and supportive?
- Is the group designed to meet your specific creative / writing needs?
- Is the group meeting your specific creative / writing needs
- Are you able to receive constructive critique?
- Do you leave the group filled with new stories and story ideas?
- Does the group keep your passion for writing alive?
- Is your writing being elevated?
- Do you feel connected to the other writers?
- Are you expanding?
If the answers to these questions are not a resounding yes, you’re less likely to be nurtured and will quite probably find yourself in a nightmare. If you found yourself smiling at the end of that list, consider yourself seated in the glow of that Place Called Ah!
“It’s beautiful and the works are incredible,” Melissa Tinning says of the National Museum of Women In The Arts. “It is wonderful to go through and see the feminine stylistic interpretations of the times … If you go to DC, go see this museum.”
– MyoSheka Series: ILICET – A Time To Begin Again
– Flight Of The Fused Monkeys
– A Sound Byte Life
– Tools For Poets & Writers
– The Journey Radio Show: A Step In Time (Listen Here)
– National Museum Of Women In The Art