January 9, 2011

And other streams of conversation between Ms. Tippett and Ms. Alexander made me return to my own thinking about stories…and one of my favorite quotations: “Everything is a tale. What we believe, what we know. What we remember, even what we dream. Everything is a story, a narrative, a sequence of events with characters communicating emotional content. We only accept as true what can be narrated.” (Carlos Ruiz Zafón, from his novel The Angel’s Game)

Ms. Tippett talked about a piece of the narrative and the entirety of the narrative. Your story is different than mine, in some of the particulars. I suspect, your story is similar to mine in some of the particulars, and surely in the universality. And if we shared our stories…if we told our own stories and the stories of others…

If we told the stories of others… biography or fiction, poem or song… Stories of the lives of others…

I’m reminded of Bob Dylan’s introduction to “I Was Young When I Left Home?” It must have been a live performance. Dylan said: “I sorta made it up on a train. It must be good for somebody, this here song. I know it’s good for me. If it ain’t for me, it is for somebody. I just talked about it.”

Through stories we learn. In fact, we learn more and better through stories. Everything is, indeed, a story. What I believe and what you know, is a tale. So are our dreams and surely, so are our futures…just a story…a narrative.

“Anything can be made,” said Elizabeth Alexander. “Any sentence can be begun.” And she wasn’t talking about poetry only. She was talking about your life and mine, our world and worlds.

Filed under: Social Commentary

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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