Friday, July 10, 2009

stories from the city, stories from the lake

Erica and I have spent a good bit of time over the years debating the worthiness of actions that lead to stories, whether a good story is a reason for doing something and what is more important, the happening or the telling. I don't know the answer but I do know that life lately has seemed somewhat ridiculously overfull of metaphors, where I see the world through stranger's glasses on a day where I desperately need larger vision or where I hear somebody's joy in personal independence only days before the holiday when the country celebrates its own freedom. I'm in this more-or-less perpetual state of wonder, watching stories unfold around me rather perfectly and seeing how they lead me to new insights about myself, and figuring out how those insights translate into words and more stories that I can tell to others and perhaps show them a little bit of who I am. I've always been a fairly interior person, and lately all I can seem to do is talk about myself and all of the amazingly beautiful things that my life is filled with.

When did this happen? Not all at once. It's been just over a year since I moved into my own apartment, began a life that was truly my own, and that has had a great deal to do with it. But I think that there's something much more indefinable, some massive interior shift that has brought me to this place where nearly everything seems to be a story and also some sort of radical truth. I don't know what that change could be, except that I finally have a clearer vision of who I am and who I want to be, and the stories seem to flow from that. But it might also be that I'm starting to think more like a writer, and that these stories and perfect moments and metaphors have been here all along and I was too tied up in other things to notice. All I know is that I'm grateful for them now.

The writer thing, I have to admit, is a little terrifying. I don't consider myself a writer, really, but I have to recognize that words and the writing and telling of them has gained considerable prominence in the last few months. Not a week goes by where somebody doesn't tell me that I should write more, be a writer, do this somehow in a way that goes beyond this simple blog and the group of friends and acquaintances that read it. I don't know how to do that. I don't know if doing this in a more high-pressure way would ruin it for me, as "work" and its related anxieties ruined music for me for a while. I don't know what I could write that more people than you all, my regular readers, would want to listen to. I don't know so many things, but if I sit tight I think the stories will keep happening and whatever change I'm going through will reach some sort of logical-but-unforeseen conclusion that I would never have imagined. It will make a great story later, no matter how it turns out.

3 comments:

Mugsie said...

I think the stories have always been there.
If you write more, I'll read more. :)

ammie said...

I think so too. I guess I was hearing them before, but they weren't making sense. Or something.
And awww... Thanks!

Rosiecat said...

Ammie, I think you could write and get paid for it. Part of what will make you a fantastic professional writer is the humility that you describe here, that feeling of not knowing everything but feeling determined to keep working on the puzzle. That, my friend, is a big part of why your stories WORK.

Someone once said that anxiety is essential to creativity. I don't believe that it's ESSENTIAL, but it does motivate us to reach for the heights.