We, at VHC, think a lot about the stories of our lives…we, of course, work with people’s history, how they see their lives, what they choose to remember, what they learn & understand, what they believe, and what their legacy’s will be after their brief stay. I think often of what my Father said…he was 40 and then woke up the next day and he was 80…it really is that brief. But I digress….so…..I have heard it said that everything is fiction, we write our lives and impose what we have written on our memories. In light of that, I found this excerpt just wonderful. It is from the writer Keith Ridgway and excerpted from The New Yorker. I love how he describes this idea.
“And I mean that—everything is fiction. When you tell yourself the story of your life, the story of your day, you edit and rewrite and weave a narrative out of a collection of random experiences and events. Your conversations are fiction. Your friends and loved ones—they are characters you have created. And your arguments with them are like meetings with an editor—please, they beseech you, you beseech them, rewrite me. You have a perception of the way things are, and you impose it on your memory, and in this way you think, in the same way that I think, that you are living something that is describable. When of course, what we actually live, what we actually experience—with our senses and our nerves—is a vast, absurd, beautiful, ridiculous chaos.
So I love hearing from people who have no time for fiction. Who read only biographies and popular science. I love hearing about the death of the novel. I love getting lectures about the triviality of fiction, the triviality of making things up. As if that wasn’t what all of us do, all day long, all life long. Fiction gives us everything. It gives us our memories, our understanding, our insight, our lives. We use it to invent ourselves and others. We use it to feel change and sadness and hope and love and to tell each other about ourselves. And we all, it turns out, know how to do it.”