Thursday, September 2, 2010

NPR’s "Our Storied Lives"

I write to understand. Through writing, I can untangle some of life’s knots and eventually share human truths through individual fictional or autobiographical pieces. Meanwhile, I order words to make them both clear and beautiful.

When students tell me they hate writing and reading because it is all “made-up stuff” that doesn’t matter, I work to remind them of its possible significance. Almost every writing or literature syllabus that I present to my students says, “Writing is part of a dialogue.” It isn’t a monologue, but rather a response to something written or something in your world that can then be responded to in kind, perhaps even in writing. Everyone is welcome to participate.

(Of course, this is somewhat ideal thinking. I have files of drafts that would never change anyone’s life, let alone offer me clarity. It takes time and a lot of work to arrive at this point, but it is possible.)

Jon Hamilton’s piece Our Storied Lives: The Quest For 'Something More' on NPR explains just this idea through the human need to “write our own life story.” These stories are influenced by movies and plays, and presumably fiction and poetry. The artist is able to transfer truths through narrative and the audience just might alter their own life course.

We are all word-crafters as we work to understand and mold our own realties. Why not write it down?


Jen said...

I completely agree with this. I think the act of writing is interactive, even if no one sees the piece of writing other than the writer. With each new idea or memory, we reflect and analyze.

Chloe Yelena Miller said...