Archive for July 8th, 2013


“We get stories from those around us with the same ease that we catch emotions, chicken pox or flu.”

The consequence of every story; is an effect on something else. Whether this is a person, people, a place, an animal or something entirely different – the effect is there, as a result of a happening. How you choose to tell your story is a different matter. The choices you make determine the ripples that occur afterwards and for how long they go on for, sometimes never ending. Or so it seems.

I was pondering story telling after reading ‘The Storyteller’ by Jodi Picoult. Whilst not the most favourite of the books I’ve read by her, it was still quite poignant and touching. It was a prime example of how the ways in which we tell a story can effect so many people afterwards, on and on.


I have gathered lots of stories across just twenty four years. I could relay them in any order of importance that I should choose. I could begin by telling you about the time my Grandparents plane was diverted to Canada when they were ideally aiming for the USA, and how much trauma and stress that caused them. Or I could begin by starting to tell you the names of the 2,977 people who died that same day in four co-ordinated terrorist attacks.


I read a news article focusing on the Canada ‘runaway train’ incident that happened over the weekend. The horror of it didn’t strike me immediately, but rather this one line did, ” Everybody knew somebody who was unaccounted for.” That train hit, and in that small community almost everybody knew of somebody who was affected. The train drivers story began when he left his train and checked into a hotel. Perhaps his story, had it taken another path, would have held only him and the few he came into contact with that evening. Instead, the train he had left run into the local town and straight through hundreds of lives, bringing them straight into his chapter – whether he wanted it or not.


We are forever telling stories. As humans it’s a natural instinct. We talk about our weekends, we talk about our misfortunes, our good fortunes, our luck, our bad luck, we map our lives the way we want in the ways in which we choose to tell things. We’re given only the raw material, the facts and the figures. We’re given the bare bones and we spin those bones into something meaty. To tell your life story would be impossible. Ordinary people try, celebrities try. But everything connects to something else – the details are entwined too deep to give it all. And so we spin until we have something palatable.  It would take more than a lifetime to tell your own story, but if you were going to, how would you start?



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