Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Reason for Writing, Especially about Life Disabled

A worthy read about the value of story can be found here in a publication called The Valley Advocate ...

Art in Paradise: The Witness
The passing of a remarkable storyteller

It is simply superb, an essay that resonates deeply with me as a son of a WW II veteran.

Over the years of my life, I've run into a vet who was shot down over Berlin. He was a minor league baseball player when he joined. I met another who cleared the beach barriers at Tarawa.

But it is not only war experience we lose when these stories go unwritten. I once met an old man who was orphaned at age five. The community "gave" him to a neighbor to be used as a farm worker. His first name was Bernie limped because during his youth he'd had his leg broken by a horse, and he went without treatment. By the time I met him he owned thousands of acres of farm and timber land, even thought he could barely read and write, but I loved to listen to the stories of his hardscrabble, hill country boyhood.

I do think we construct our lives through the stories we tell, and to me, it has to do with the nature of what we humans term "truth."

We each live in our own truths, the mixture of which provides another truth. But the only we can connect to one another -- that is, explain our "truth" -- is through story.

When I remember that and move through the world listening to other people tell "stories," I can even hold fast to the idea that even lies tell truths.

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