Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Do stories ever end and other deep thoughts

Before a personal story ends, Memoir writers decide that there is enough of a story to be told, to be penned, to commit to. Reflection and significance are ingredients. Compelling is important. And how to begin requires selection of an end for the unending. I am a derailed storyteller because I can never decide upon an ending.

When this entry was conceived, there was 100 days remaining; to elect a new president and to make ready my primary daily bread assignment for go live. These turning points are not ends. They may be middles or starts. What comes later – the benchmarking measures like the 1st 100 days of the presidency and questions about the completed project speak to the lack of true ends.

New tools allow us to manage or compile data and images and the elements of story. Sometimes pseudo stories emerge much like pseudo poems from folks exploring sentences and fragments instead of paragraphs and chapters. New tools can inevitably make endings ever more, less likely. Time capsules of experience accumulate. Folks like me get to avoid deciding on a larger scale than outside of the moment’s distraction – about endings. Volumes of reflection, commentary and noise emerge – and stories that could change, heal or inform salt and pepper the abundance.

Blogging, this hybrid commentary journal process was activated by me to reflect upon significance. Scribble. Distraction. Curiosity. Ponders. All in a format that allows me to avoid questions wrestled by true storytellers. Maybe coming of age with the TV drama view of story, most of which now tell multiple stories simultaneously and attempt to develop characters serially, neatly prescribed time, foreshadowing and tension until there is a fade to credits has contributed to my dilemma.

I began to read the World is my Home. I did not get to the end yet. It has been months since I set it down. I started it in the middle, as I recall. The 1992 biography of James A. Michener was published 5 years before his death, an end marked by his decision to remove life supports. A collection of selective reminiscences, his story for me did not end when I closed the cover of the book nor would it have if I were on the last page. It continues here. His story lives on because they were scribed. Each new reader restarts the story. And every new writer underwritten at UofTexas at Austin by Michener funds ensures his story never ends. This novelist did story his way. He followed his intellectual curiosity, informed his style from the experience of opera arias and ultimately his narration rewards the reader or listener with knowledge. His large novels are said to be absent psychological insight. I have purchased but have yet to read his sagas. A novelist that could have been a blogger is an indulgence that I can not yet invite in to my frame of reference. So I digest short stories. This week it is People I wanted to be.

Go Live is less than 100 business days away and the day job is carnivorous. Is eating my soul, flesh eating? Deep thoughts are set aside as core hours begin now.

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