Telling Stories

In General, Musings on July 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm

It’s been a tough week for people I care a lot about in some very heavy ways. Life and death stuff. Stuff that makes one’s soul shrink in at the edges. And it makes me think about the power of story. How, when there are no easy platitudes to express one’s deepest sympathy or horror, story is often the only thing we have. Sharing our own. Turning to others’ stories to find ourselves and our way back from terrible things. Remembering the joyful times. Weaving new stories.

It also makes me think about the stories we tell ourselves to get through difficult times, when we’re too afraid to shine the light into certain depths, and the ones that wrongly limit us.

Human experience seems indelibly linked to the creating and expressing of stories. Children do it almost as soon as they can talk, and adults sometimes never stop.

This week, share with me your thoughts on how stories have saved you, or caused you trouble.

Here’s a snippet of one of my stories, Endarkenment, which will appear in the forthcoming Milk & Ink Anthology: A Mosaic of Motherhood

“I knew it was dangerous, but I thought of her thin body pressed against mine, sobbing, how frail she felt in my arms. I thought of her mother, who had never done right by her and I knew that I would break policy as sure as I knew her mother was a kidnapper.”


  1. I have a series of fairytales I write that help me get thru anxieties. One’s about tolerance and finding your own path. Another is about love, and there’s another about communication.

  2. That’s lovely, William. Thanks for sharing. Which one helps you most through anxiety?

  3. They all help in different ways. When I’m anxious about more intellectual subjects, How Jack Crossed the Desert is perfect. When I get worried about relationships, I look at Tale of the Prince. I can send you a couple, if you like.

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