End And Begin

Sand SpiralSome fragments of thought on common story phrases (and life):

Once upon a time. It started. The Big Bang! Movement from a single point, a center. Adventure requires a movement from center, a venture away from the known to the question. Moving from center implies imbalance and opens the possibility for a more expansive center. Here’s the paradox of moving from center: balance is everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. Every person is the center of their unique story. That will always be true: who else could star in your personal movie? Yet stories, in order to move, require imbalance. You know who you are, you lose who you are, you find who you are. Cells divide and divide again. The division is necessary for new forms to take shape. The encoding is already in there somewhere. The same is true of stories.

This is like that. Comparison. Simile. Metaphor. Analogy. It is why stories work. We compare ourselves to the protagonist. We are like him or her. Why do we tell the same stories again and again? Because we recognize ourselves in the story. Stories are like glue that binds a community. It’s why marketing works. To be more complete, you must buy this or wear that. Be like…. It’s all a story and in that way it is all made up, every category, every interpretation (see Once Upon a Time, The Big Bang, etc.).

And so the story goes. Chaos to order, order to chaos, generation to generation, winter, spring, summer, fall, winter, spring,…. This morning on our walk we watched parents take photos of their children as they returned to school. Backpacks, new clothes, and packed lunches; it’s the first day back. “Do you remember doing that for your kids?” I asked Kerri. She said, “It seems like yesterday.” It seems like yesterday when I was wearing new clothes and walking to school.

The End? An End? “The End” is definitive, singular. The Big Bang was a beginning but was it also an end? The end of one form is usually the beginning of another. Endings always lead to Once Upon A Time, don’t they? It depends upon where you stand or who’s telling the story or how you define yourself.

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Eve, by David Robinson

Eve, by David Robinson

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Lost & Found

711. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

…a long day of writing on the book. Since I have not another thought in my head, here’s another excerpt:

It is probably poor form to start a story in the middle, in a moment of high crisis. When a story stalks you through your lifetime you inevitably learn some things about stories; you unwittingly stalk them, too. One of the first things I learned was that the word “beginning” is arbitrary. An end is always a beginning. A beginning is always an end. What we call a beginning or the middle or an end is really a simple matter of our point of view. It depends on what we see.

Another valuable thing I learned about stories is that they unfold according to established patterns. Beginning, middle, and end is a simple pattern. Within this simple pattern is a more complex pattern structure. For instance, in order to grow, the main character has to leave behind everything they know and go on a journey. That journey can be literal or an inner, metaphoric journey. To leave behind what you know is part of the pattern that leads to trials, confrontations, and catharsis. It’s a pattern and since each of us is the protagonist in our own story, the pattern is alive and at work in our lives. The trick is to become aware of where you are in the story cycle. What part of the pattern are you currently living?

Stories never begin with being found. We hear a call. We pursue it blindly and discover that we are lost in the woods. Stories begin when someone, the main character, you, gets lost or is knocked off balance. In this sense, being lost is always a step toward being found.