‘The only person who can give you permission to take risk[s] is you.’*
‘[P]art of me believes when the story of earth is told, all that will be remembered is the truth we exchanged. The vulnerable moments. The terrifying risk of love and the care we took to cultivate it.’**
In the beginning there was physics, and physics begat chemistry, and chemistry begat biology, and biology begat consciousness, and consciousness begat story.
There would be no story without consciousness. Only a vast universe without eyes to pursue curiosity, without hearts beating wildly at all the beauty, without any dreams to become artists and makers.
Humans are the storytelling species, responding to infinite stimuli: worlds of colour and diversity and sound and smell and shape.
What a strange word boredom is within such a universe of possibility.
Perhaps, most of all, boredom is our lives telling us to find or create a better story.
We help each other to begin a different story, but at the end of the day the opening sentences, and where they lead, belong to us and us alone. Amr Shady names this self-censorship.^
I’d found myself awake in the night, with some thoughts coming together of what I might say at the wedding celebration of friends tomorrow. Like all of us, they are storywriters, creating a third story together, one which their personal stories will serve, but not replace. They will give themselves permission to exchange truth (trust), share their vulnerability, and cultivate love.
‘Once upon a time … .’
‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away … .’
‘When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.’
‘Mr and Mrs Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal thank you very much.’
‘A busy and crowded station, full of people trying to go somewhere.’
‘In the beginning … .’
What might your opening line of a new story be?
(*From Linda Rottenberger’s Crazy is a Compliment.)
(**From Donald Miller’s Scary Close.)
(^Amr Shady found himself bored successfully running his father’s electrical engineering company in Cairo. He found his greatest obstacle was himself. His story is told in Linda Rottenberger’s Crazy is a Compliment.)