The Stories of My Life

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

I want to write a story. My life is full of stories, mostly about my stupidity, a salient feature of my personality which has a certain style of its own, I must admit. But as soon as I get into the ante-chamber of the effort to recount one of my pratfalls I get distracted by the realization of what I learned from it. How it advanced my life.

I’m sure you can see where this is going, a story about how I don’t know how to write a story.

Well, it might be, but I can never predict when I start writing what’s going to happen.

As my mind plays over my bad decisions and ventures into dead-end streets, I see that most of my stupid moves involved money. But the moves I regret the most involved times when I didn’t help someone who was suffering, when I couldn’t imagine their plight, when I wasn’t kind. When I didn’t notice their pain. That’s a kind of stupidity I have a hard time forgiving, even if I “knew not what I did.”

I feel this about friends and family members, of course, but also beloved pets, or strangers begging on the street.

I notice this story is turning into a confession, more embarrassing to me than any sexual peccadilloes I may have been involved in as an errant youth, which frankly I’ve pretty much forgotten anyway.

I think I’m on earth to grow a soul; that’s the only excuse I have. Had I known better, had I been a more evolved person, maybe I wouldn’t have showed up here in the first place.

I will say this: I learned a few things over time. And I’m still learning. I learned that everyone here needs help. Everyone. That’s a realization that dawns after the evidence keeps falling on you like an avalanche. The human race seems to be rendered half crazy, half dumbstruck from a combination of post traumatic stress and institutionalized cupidity.

And yet there is beauty everywhere. We just rush by it hardly noticing. Practicing artistic creation, I began to realize that making art is a discipline of opening your eyes. When your eyes begin to open your heart follows in amazement at the way everything relates to everything else.

That’s actually the insight I was stumbling toward. That’s the real story.

Now maybe I can learn to tell it.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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