Last week during a reading of some blog post or another (and for the life of me I wish I had kept the reference to link you to it; I went searching through my browser history without luck) and this idea developed:
My apologies to the original author whose work I was reading because I don’t think my thought is originally mine, simply a reworking or a remixing of what I had read and I don’t want to pass this statement off as purely my own. I’m using it as a launching point for discussion.
As a story teller, the narrative I am creating has a purpose. For my writing, I want to explore the lives of ordinary people, to understand who they are, their decisions and the ramifications.
I do not write autobiographically so the story is not an attempt to exorcise a past, redress an indiscretion or justify a choice. But a narrative, once released to the reader, can wound or heal.
A story has the potential to open up issues in the reader’s past, or to dress a wound. Such is the power a story can wield. As a writer, I don’t know what the impact a story will have on the reader, and it is my hope that the story I write will move the reader in some way.
The stories we tell one another, orally or written, are evidence of the life we have lived. Those stories are like scars; wounds inflicted by accident, neglect, or others. They are markers of who we are, what we were, what we have become and what we want to be.
Sometimes those scars are worn with pride. Sometimes those scars are hidden. Sometimes those scars are repurposed, redecorated.
This is the power of the story.