Stories. My stories. Your stories. The stories we have lived, and the stories we have denied.
I am not sure how you see your life, whether it is one big ball of silly putty, or a string of events that don’t seem to have much rhyme or reason.
I can’t handle my life as one big ball of silly putty. I am more like a book. I have moments that are words, some are sentences. Some sentences stand alone and others morph into paragraphs. I have also lived in vignettes, almost stages settings that I have envisioned prior to them happening.
There are parts of my life that have revealed themselves in chapters. Short chapters, long chapters … that will, eventually, become the book of my life.
Writing and thinking in such a manner help give me some structure and order to my life so it doesn’t totally go out of orbit.
Yes, there are times when my thoughts and emotions get sling-shot to outer crazy land. But in putting what has happened into context, into a story, pulls me back into a place where I can live.
If you think about it, how do you see you life? Is it a story-board? Is it random things that seem as hough you have no control? Do you drag the past with you or carry it in you purse like a tube of lipstick? Or, do you see it in some other way?
I was so enthralled with the podcast I listened to, yesterday, that this morning, after cleaning up the remainder of the stuff in the kitchen, from our baked ziti dinners that we cooked for hurricane relief, I needed something to pull me back to center.
I scrolled down the list of podcasts on Invisibilia, and found won that sounded interesting. It was about a woman whose husband had died, leaving her bereft, who could not function well. She decided to jump out of an airplane. You will have to listen to the podcast to get the story, which is part of the reason that I am writing about life as story, today.
The other part of the episode was about a couple from Montana who raised bees. Someone stole all of their bees at the worst possible time, (not that there is a good time to steal bees).
Again, a story of loss.
We all lose things, don’t we? keys, purses, glasses, receipts, friendship, friends, spouses, children, parents?
We mourn and go over and over the past and the emotions and the stories of the past. Sometimes, we change the stories to make us feel more comfortable.
There are times in our lives, dare I say, that we don’t even know how we will move on, or if we want to try.
Think about the people who lost everything, including loved ones, in the recent hurricane. Many will have to start their lives over.
As this podcast told so well, those who are able to move on, do so, in part, because they learn to create new stories for their life. They mourn the past, but instead of sticking in “I, I, I,” mode, they begin using pronouns such as “him, her, we, them.”
I know that is how i push myself forward. When it is too much, “I,I,I,” I know that there has to be a shift. My thinking needs to change. My attitude needs a vacuuming and there is a need for letting go.
Maybe, that is why I do some things that others think, “Why does she do that?”
I can tell you why, as it has become clear to me.
Because I want a new story to live, to experience, to share. There is something in me that drives me, and entices me to try this or that, so that it becomes a paragraph or chapter in my life, and that helps me engage with others.
There are times when I wonder if I could or would I want to go on if Nick dies before I do. When the woman in the podcast, the one who was grieving for her husband and her lost life, said that she didn’t get joy out of doing the things they used to do, together, I put myself there. I can bring myself to tears thinking about that, especially if I am driving in the car, alone, and hear a song that moves me.
Who knows if that will happen?
But in my mind, I pray that if that does happen, I will do as this woman does … jump out of a plane, metaphorically, and begin a new, different chapter. And if I look at it like that, I think I might be able to handle it.