Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Our stories are funny things. They build us, these tales, piece by piece, moment by moment, that trip, that fight, that beach, that walk, that day. But of course, we build our stories too.

And sometimes we begin a story that won't end the way we want no matter how hard we try. So we have to pick up the pen and begin to write another chapter from the broken paragraphs and run-on sentences we are left holding when the page turns against our will.

Our stories pile up inside until they are less like coherent sentences than a foaming seething mass of words and letters and phrases, so many magnets on the fridge. But the stories are still there, emerging at unexpected moments, reminding us when we need it most of who we are and from whence we come.

So we continue to move through our stories, sketched in indelible ink, shaping and being shaped as we slip through the pages.

But sometimes we get lost. G.K. Chesterton said, "Every man has forgotten who he is. . . . We are all under the same mental calamity. we have all forgotten our names. We have all forgotten what we really are."

And we have to remind ourselves of our stories when the paths that we have walked become hazy. It might take a jog around the block or a trip across the country or a journey around the world to remind ourselves who we are.

In a few days, I will drive west towards a part of my story, towards a house whose windows shine late into the night, towards small hands and warm heads and time with those I love, towards piano keys whose silky sheen I miss and towards a driveway never still for long.

In a few days, I will hear the familiar clamor and open the familiar drawers and sit at the familiar table. I will hold the books that I know and sit in the room that I share and then, in a few days, I will remember.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Emily. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Very beautiful, Emily!