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  1. ChrisA Guest

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    Jul 23, 2006
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    Things happen to me and my head is full of reasons why they happen. I seem to have my own mythology about myself and my world. As a writer, my chosen artistic medium is the story. The story is a medium as fluid and flexible as any other medium. It begs to be manipulated and explored from the inside. One year ago, when I set out to write a fictional history of my family’s past, I was not aware of the full magnitude of the powers of creativity. Forging the conscience of your family is an intense practice in self re-creation. I can feel the tight weave of the past loosening up with almost every line I write. As I manipulate characters and scenes, the movement of blood in my veins gets released.

    Conscious, then, of storytelling as an art, I’ve also begun to think about the little stories that go on in the recesses of my mind everyday. I talk to myself on a subconscious level. We all do, it seems. What am I telling myself?

    The stories I tell myself seem to validate a pre-existent reality that I am observing and have been observing all my life. While the number of ways in which I interpret the events in my life is more or less infinite, conflict stems from a certain inevitable stubbornness of mine to cling to only one or two possible explanations of any given event.

    Thoughts seem to arise unwillingly, as if they did not come from me, the thinker. By the time I realize I am having a thought, the thought has already passed. Therefore I am not as likely to take responsibility for these little stories going on in the recesses of my mind. Rather I’d prefer to use the expression “that’s just the way things are” because my thoughts seem to tell me so.

    And yet, on a subliminal level, each thought in my head is negotiating reality. Consciously or subconsciously, I have the choice to expand one story or revise another. But this appears to be a false choice, because not only does the choice occur in the far recesses of my subtle awareness, but I also have a habitual tendency not to exercise this choice. That is, I prefer knowing what I’ve always known about myself. There is a certain comfort and satisfaction in a time-worn story, even if the story is totally inaccurate and limiting to the individual. For these reasons, the majority of my mental energy is devoted to reinforcement and not revision.

    The spools of the self are constantly running, even when I am dreaming. Throughout the day, patterns of reality harden with the accumulation of additional threads. Very rarely do I pull apart the old patterns of thinking about myself and the world and begin new ones, as Penelope did each night.

    Mostly we seem to be collecting evidence for an old and ancient truth about ourselves. Intellectually we understand that the story of who we are is ambiguous and full of contradiction. But we still cling to that old and ancient truth, be it good or bad.



    Posted By ChrisA | Jan 13, 2007

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