Well, it happened. Twenty-nine days in, and I lost inspiration. I almost forgot to write tonight. But I remembered. But then I couldn’t think of anything to write. Fortunately I found tonight’s writing inspiration: “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we most need in the world.”–Phillip Pullman
I love the power of stories. I love the power of stories that repeat. I love the universality of stories and the way stories can create identity, purpose. The stories we tell about ourselves are the stories that create who we are, and the stories we listen to shape us in ways we can’t even really know in the moment. Stories have shaped me for sure: Harriet the Spy and Little Women made me want to be a writer. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn helped me understand what it means to be a reader. The Aeneid helped me understand the pull between “right” and right. The Poisonwood Bible showed me what family does and doesn’t mean.
There are stories I love to tell about myself: about the time I tried to pit my mother and father against each other by calling my father “some stranger my mother met on the street and married”; how, at 15, I was precocious enough to read Hemingway but not worldly enough to understand what impotence meant in The Sun Also Rises; the minor celebrity I met and almost dated in college.
The stories we choose to tell and the stories we choose to read say so much about us. That’s what this month has really been: a chance to think about my stories, tell stories, and learn about the stories of others. I’m glad my story is being told.