This I Believe
I believe in stories. The meaning of life might escape me but I know that faint whispers of that meaning lie in the stories we tell. My mother told me stories from a very young age, both fictional and not. My teachers did too. Everything they taught me was a story in a way: I heard the story of photosynthesis, Romeo and Juliet, verbs and dividends. They all became part of my story as I filed them away in my head.
Stories are pieces of life that are in everything and everyone. I see the world and believe in it when a traveler comes to me and says, “Listen”, before telling me of the mountains in Nepal. I see the world and believe in it when my family talks about both of my great-grandmothers, one Ethiopian, the other French Canadian. Just today, my teacher told a story about the unification of Germany under Otto van Bismarck. I told my little cousins a tale about Morguls, the hair-eating fairies that live in trees and slurp up braids like spaghetti. What is truth is the same as what is imagined; a story.
I would never try to boil life down to a simple order of words. You can see the story in people too, in their scars, and tears, and eyes. If there is one true thing I believe in, it is the stories that I hear and taste, feel and see.
There are liars and there are storytellers. There are even those who tell the honest truth (or so they like to say). Everyone is part of a story and everyone discovers one in their gardens and in their friends and anywhere they choose to look. Writers carefully place them in view, while children eagerly spill them to their parents. A snapshot might reveal a terrible story that was hidden or an old man might hold his greatest story close to his heart. Forgotten stories, embellished yarns, secret tales. Life would not be life, I believe, without the richness of stories.
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