Those who tell stories..

“Tell me a story..”

“A story?! I don’t know how to tell stories..”

“I’m sure you can tell a small one!”

“No I swear, I don’t know how.. I can talk about things that have happened.. but I wish I knew how to make things up.”

“Don’t you ever imagine things that haven’t actually happened?”

“Oh… now that’s a minefield, isn’t it? Whatever you may begin to make up, you would inevitably stumble on things to draw upon in your own head- all the could-have’s and should-have’s… all the missed connections, and alternate lifetimes.. that’s a dangerous place. One ought not to go there.”

“Or you could imagine how things might happen in the future?”

“How is that any different? It’s the same longings and unfulfilled lifetimes that you begin to project into the future. I am not sure this story-telling business is all that healthy if you ask me.”

“Because you have to come face to face with all your hidden fears and longings?”

“It’s not without reason that one can easily recall so many writers who lost their mind.”

“Or they actually found it.. and it was just too much.”

**Silence and a glare**

“Are you saying all writers are ultimately only writing about themselves?”

“You know, I don’t think so. And that’s the part that makes me feel really inadequate. I think they probably go from a stage of meeting their own reality, and then caring genuinely about that of others.”

“And you don’t care enough about others?”

“Oh God.. you are so literal! You see there are many kinds of caring. There are the problem solvers in the world- they see someone in broken shoes and they buy them new ones. Or they embalm their wounds. Or they remove thorns from all roads. That’s certainly caring.

Then there are the story-tellers, poets, artist variety.. who do something that seems useless in comparison- they put themselves in the shoes of this other person.”

“Hahaha..does seem useless in comparison”

“Seems. But from this seemingly useless behavior emerge the stories and art that help others understand this pain. That probably fuels the problem solvers to do what they do as well.”

“So why won’t you do this seemingly useless but noble thing?”

“Because they say to get into someone else’s shoes, one has to take off one’s own. I haven’t learnt to take off my shoes.. not yet.

And if I try entering someone else’s shoes without removing mine, it will just distort theirs..”

“Oh no, not good. What will you do?”

“I don’t know. Probably walk enough in my own shoes so they sit comfortably and don’t cling so tight anymore.

And remember that I’m free to take them off anytime. The shoes are mine, but they aren’t me.”



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