Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Prompt Tell a story of when a fictional narrative - changed you

Today's Sevenstages story writing session reminds that fiction stories can create realities that could have been-with truths more clarifying than real events. The book Mr. God this is Anna – may or may not be fiction and represents this sentiment quite uniquely in the elusiveness of its implied truth of Anna’s existence. And for me it is yet another story shared under a pseudonym; Fynn.

Based on public reviews and personal sharing Anna’s authentic voice is not elusive with words that widen any reader’s personal journey of belief. In this webbed world there are related stories of readers compelled to seek out the story behind the anonymity of its author; Fynn. Some print editions of Mr. God this is Anna do have a preface by religious broadcaster and theologian  Vernon Sproxton who remarks that he has seen Anna's drawings and notes and that he believes her to be real.

Many years ago I gifted Mr. God this is Anna to my precocious young son. Nearly decades later his social media ‘About Me’ information presents it has his favorite book; quite a declaration given his multitude of over stacked cases of well fingered books. It may be my favorite as well; because when prompted to write my own story about a fictional narrative that changed me I connect immediately with the audacity of its questions, the open charm of its characters and mostly the uncertainty of its truth and a phrase about connectedness and hope that I owned more than I realized before today.

The inquisitive Anna dies at age eight. She lived a poetic life as a friend and helper of Mister God whose revelations through her voice ‘roll around the mind’ of her accidental caretaker, Fynn and any reader of his anonymous sharing of their four years together. Anna had an astonishing ability to ask--and answer--life's largest questions, and to feel the purpose of being. At her gravesite Fynn says "Anna is in my middle".  This exclamation has been described as Fynn’s release of his angst against God as he prophetically connects with one of Anna's big answers "God is part of everybody and everybody is part of God"; more simply it is finding hope. 

My son and I express the depth of our connectedness with the phrase "you are my middle". It can be a standalone text, the close to a follow-up message or a murmur shared during a deep in person hug which I am still learning to lean into. I too have a psuedonym: it is my middle name and his.  When our lives had to keep many secrets I reached deeply into the middle of everything and found poems.

the most beautiful lessons are plain to see
by Adele Houston
listen up, the most
beYOUtiful thing in this here world
is you
being yourself.
My pappy taught me this truth.
Pappy knows many things about
fixing and making things do what they
are meant for, but
like he says, fixing what was
broke in him was the key.
I'm here to tell you
that man was ugly to look at
but he was beYOUtiful.

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