narrative

My Life is an Open Book

My Life is an Open Book

"My life is an open book. It lies here
on a glass tabletop, its pages shamelessly exposed,
outspread like a bird with hundreds of thin paper wings.

It is a biography, needless to say,
and I am reading and writing it simultaneously
in a language troublesome and private."

~ Billy Collins

Continuously Unfolding Nonlinear Narrative

Continuously Unfolding Nonlinear Narrative

"The entire orchestration of the symphony of mind unfolds like changes in a music score, and while there is no single, master conductor, the decentralized process does have hot spots of top-down modulation linked by connections built over evolutionary time."

~ Antonio Damasio

Stories about the End of Stories

Stories about the End of Stories

"The dominant story of modernity has been progress. Although still hardwired into our institutions, that story has lost most of its plausibility. new genres are taking its place: apocalypse and nihilism. Apocalypse is the imminent and triumphant conclusion of our most cherished stories. Nihilism is their collapse. Both are stories about the end of stories."

~ David R. Loy

Reservoir of Beauty inside You

Reservoir of Beauty inside You

"What I find very strange is this. That I think what's magnificent about Bach is that when you listen to this music, and it moves you so much, I mean, it's just a bunch of sound waves crashing into your ear, and you have to contain — you see this emotion bubbling up, you start seeing, like, tearing up, and saying, well, what's going on? These are just sounds crashing into my — what's going on in here?"

~ Bernard Chazelle 

Only One View

Biblios by Guy Laramée

"Because of your unique history, you have evolved a series of stories that you repeatedly return to throughout your life. These stories determine how you see yourself and how you interpret what is happening to you. You may well be overidentified with your stories and not see that they represent only one view of your circumstances. Your stories can limit what you believe to be your choices and define what happens to you in your day. They may not have even come from you but may have been suggested by someone else. You may not even recognize them as stories; to you they may seem like worries or just the way you are."

~ Phillip Moffit, from "The Fallacy of Story-Making," Emotional Chaos to Clarity, Chapter 7

Stories We Tell

Sarah Polley in conversation with Elvis Mitchell on KCRW's The Treatment about her new documentary Stories We Tell (May 22, 2013):

There were so many moments, I think, where I wanted to back away from it for all of the sane reasons why someone would, and not the least of which was [while] many documentaries people make about their families or personal documentaries are fantastic and enlightening and insightful, so many of them are totally narcissistic and self-indulgent and I felt that this film was absolutely in danger of those same problems. 

I think, for me, what kept me going was I was so actually fascinated myself in like What is it about us as human beings that needs to tell stories? Why are we so desperate to have narrative? Why is it so impossible for us to live in the mess?

We have to create this kind of neat arc of storytelling around the events in our lives, otherwise it's just too much. It's just too bewildering.