Stories of Life

When I was a little girl, I was dreaming away with every story I read. The stories I read played a very important role in the way I started to see the world. Stories still play that role in my life. Every time I open up a book my mind wanders off to different worlds. Worlds that know just as much pain, horror, terror, joy, happiness and luck as real life. Maybe not all the creatures and not all the worlds in my books are real. Maybe not every event in the books is actually possible, but who knows. The books feed my perception, my fantasy and my dreams. The stories make my curiosity for more stories grow.

Yesterday I had a chat with a guy that I did not meet before. We disagreed on so many subjects and levels, because of, in my opinion, our difference in perception, but as everyone’s story does, his story gave me something to think about. He stated that it is human nature to always want more of the things we crave for, that even if you accomplish your dreams, it will never be enough. At first I disagreed with him, but today I realized he might be right. We might all have something that we crave for, that we will never have enough of. If I had to think of something that I do not have enough of, it is stories. I always want more stories to read, to hear and to lose myself in. I am always looking for new stories. Some stories are created by my mind, others are stories in books and some are the stories of the people I meet.

The people I meet, the people that have a place in my life, they all have a story. Today I realized, that it is the stories that are not being told, that make me sad. The stories of people you meet every day and that are never shared with me. It are those stories that can make me cry when someone leaves my life. It is not that I feel entitled to know these stories. It is not that I feel people owe it to me to tell me their story, but it hurts to realize that I know so little about some of the people I care for so much. No matter how much we talk, no matter how much time we spend together, some stories just fizzle when time passes. It is like ink on paper that slowly fades until no one can decipher the words. The paper decays, but the words try to hold on to what is left so they can be read if someone finds the paper. If no one finds the paper, eventually the paper falls apart and the words are gone.

I started collecting these stories a long time ago. I started to collect stories about tattoos and musicians. I started to collect stories of friends and family. With every story that I collected, I realized that I would never be able to hold on to all the stories. Neither would I ever be able to remember all those stories. Stories about small and big events that shaped someone’s perception, shaped someone’s personality. Stories that are the by-product of life. Stories that are real and stories that are fantasy, all so important. Stories that are so important because they are about people, about lives.

In this modern time, I take the time to write some of those stories down, to try and preserve them, to try and honor them, to extend their life. The letters I write won’t fade like ink on paper. The stories I write down are lost in the abundance of data that is stored in zeros and ones, deprived from their uniqueness. Eventually they are lost, no matter how important they are. Some stories might stand out and might hold on to their spot in the memory of humankind just a little longer, but most stories are forgotten, like all the stories before them.

Stories change my world, my perception. With every story I collect, my train of thoughts is altered. It is quite a selfish hobby, collecting stories. It is quite a human way of working, always wanting more. It is quite a satisfactory craving, because there are stories everywhere and it is quite a saddening activity, because so many stories stay untold. Some stories just slowly leave the world. Unnoticed, like sneaky cats that just stole your meat from the kitchen table. Sometimes we find traces of those stories, but just as your meat, we will never be able to recover the stories to their full glory. Other stories are more like imprisoned animals, screaming and scratching to get out, but no matter how hard they try, they will never be free again. And then there are the stories that are like an upcoming storm that passes by. We know they are there. We know who can tell them and then it never happens and the person leaves our lives for good and the stories are gone.

It are those untold stories that make me sad. It are those untold stories that make me realize I care for someone. It are those untold stories that I will remember the most.

*For my Grandpa.

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