Sunday, May 20, 2007

A storied song for a gray day.

I’ve been rather tired as of late.
No ones fault but mine, of course. Working long nights, sleeping short days. Keeping myself busy to the point of crippling sanity, losing those moments where I’d do nothing more than stare deeply into the heart of nothing in particular, until I could manage to see through the epic tales of the dust that floated through streams of mid-afternoon sun, see through to everything they could hope to teach the world. Spending my time losing moments of nothing at all. It’s been happening. And yes, I’ve been tired. So much so that I’ve found nary an opportunity to sit my popping heap of bones down to start prattling away about…whatever it is that I might prattle away about on an idle Wednesday evening.

These days, it gets harder and harder to puzzle out what I might say.

So. Here’s one for me, and for you as well:
What does it take to tell a story?
And what does it take to build one?

I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve always thought about it. I thought that I might come here and head off into the territory of word-smithing with by making some manner of joke about a concept that doesn’t quite exist. Something like…“Secular Onanism,” maybe. Some sort of Something that might get you wondering what the tenants of such a thing might be, until you finally come full circle and realize that it might already be established by the wealth of fellows practicing self-flagellation in the name of Deity; a practice enjoyed by pale, pale Arthur Dimmesdale, and other paler, paler (and poorly-written, poorly-written) albinos alike.

Yes, I thought that joke might be funny.
It’s odd where these things go, sometimes.

…kinda maybe most of the times. Which is the way it has to be.
It has to be that way, it has to have the struggle of pointless meandering, it has to choke on its own indifference before the story can be built. It has to be a world we know, so we know where it might take us.

Because when you get right down to it:
I have no slathering jaws that open wide to rid the world of lives.
I have no thunderous growl that would casually lay waste to man’s resolve.

This is just another story of a guy walking down the street underneath the casual gray of the sky. Just another story of a man who exited a movie theater, who just witnessed an introduction built upon one person starting a friendship with the brazen act of walking up and declaring that you love their music. And it got to me, that story. I’ve started a friendship the very same way, just by me knocking on a cheap-ass dorm door and declaring appreciation towards a lonely violinist. Because that’s what should be done; we should gesture towards the lonely, while being sure to nod our heads. I did, that day. I gained a friend, that way. Later on I lost that friend, through a host of bad, bad things.
Just another story. Building it by living through it.

So. What’s it take to build a story?
It takes open ears and stretched out eyes, staring into the face of the Sun and listening to the roar of the Earth.

It takes a willingness to accept things as they come by.
Think of -- think of those beautiful times, when people you don’t know walk up to you, smiles stretched out on their faces, a world of memory on their minds. They hand you a camera, and ask you to take a picture. There, in that very spot, they’ve placed the future of their memories in your hands. Given you a chance to build a moment.
Given you responsibility over their story; of the things they wish to tell the people that they love and trust. It’s a beautiful chance, it always is. Whenever it happens, I just hope to fuck that I don’t screw it up with my storytelling sensibilities, hopefully giving them the right place at the right time.

What does that mean then, for your world right now? For the times you know and love, for whatever place and time, whether or not they happen to be right?

Next time you get a chance:

Take a moment.
I mean that.

Take it. From the very center of your day, grab a moment with both hands and hold on tight enough to make your fingernails crack into splinters. Take that moment, and just be quiet. Quiet and still. Hold on. Hold onto it until that fateful moment where it, that it in particular, where it grabs you in return and you begin to feel the tears welling up in your eyes. And then? Just let it move away.

Watch it slide into the distance like the fateful farewell of the five-cent koan.
Another thing to puzzle over, another world to make you tired. Another story to (hopefully) tell.

Yesterday was my birthday. Said some things, did some things.
Could be I learned some things.

What’s it take to tell a story?
That -- that’s a part of my world that I’m still trying figure out.

And as odd as the lot of this might be, it certainly wouldn’t feel right any other way.

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