“The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no? Doesn't that make life a story?”― Yann Martel, Life of Pi
Yesterday we went to watch the life of Pi. I read the book (twice) when it first came out and...I was enthralled. An Indian boy and a tiger crossing the Pacific on a raft...add a shipwreck , flying fish + a carnivorous island and you have storytelling at it's best. Was it true? Did it really happen or did Pi conjure it all up because the truth was much more difficult to face? In the end though...none of that matters. What matters...is the magic of the story. Does the story hold us and ...carry us into it's heart?
“Stories, like people and butterflies and songbirds' eggs and human hearts and dreams, are also fragile things, made up of nothing stronger or more lasting than twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks. Or they are words on the air, composed of sounds and ideas-abstract, invisible, gone once they've been spoken-and what could be more frail than that? But some stories, small, simple ones about setting out on adventures or people doing wonders, tales of miracles and monsters, have outlasted all the people who told them, and some of them have outlasted the lands in which they were created.”― Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things
Does the story trust us with it's vulnerability...it's beauty as well as it's ugliness? Does it take us to a different place? Because...stories carry us, don't they? They carry us through pain and unimaginable loss...through hopes and fears. They carry us to our best + worst selves and into uncharted territories. Our stories carry us deep into the human heart...where we, all of us, experience the deepest of sufferings and the highest of hopes. Sometimes...they simply carry us when we are unable to stand. Most magical of all, I think, is this...they carry us to the places we have not yet seen, the person we have not yet become.