This I Believe

Shoshana - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 11, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe in the power of short stories, fiction or otherwise. I believe that life is a collection of short stories, of snapshots of the human condition, of individual moments.

I believe that long stories are short stories that we glue together into threads and themes that make sense to us. You can take the same set of short stories and glue them in many different ways creating longer stories with different threads and different message.

I believe that short stories are the fabric of life, the basic raw material that allows us to create a virtually stable and consistent world for ourselves.

If I look at my life I can see that it is a hodgepodge of very short stories that I can neatly pack in many different ways. It is full of moments of conflicting interpretations, deviation from the predictable path and unexpected breaks dotted with seemingly random impressions. I can make my life look like a comedy, a tragedy, a science fiction story, a detective story and definitely a soap opera all by picking and choosing the short stories to use and then piecing them together in one particular way or another.

For example here are some of the aspects of my life, each with its own rich collection of short stories. I have a daughter and three sons. I am a farmer’s daughter with a mother that got her PhD when she was over sixty five. I am an award winning mathematician and the oldest sister of a Harvard professor. My son was badly injured when he was five and was in a near death comma for three months. I am an Israeli who lives in the US for over twenty five years. I am a founder of a high tech startup, a former university professor, a wife, a CEO who did not quite know how to play the game. I have always been understated, under the radar screen, a risk taker and an over achiever, a corporate manager, an inventor and a short fiction story writer. And this is not all. Not even close.

I am sure you can see the point. I can create any story of my life using the many short stories. I can write volumes. Of all the long stories I can write is any one truer than the rest? I do not know.

This is why I believe in the power of short stories, the shorter the better. I have no patience for long stories. They seem arbitrary to me.