Just Another Blogger

Just Another Blogger – Blog 9 – 22/03/2021

Just Another Blogger

Stories within stories that twist their way through yet more stories. I’m plagiarising my favourite author when I say that humans are built and made from the stories that surround us. They intertwine our lives and dreams so much, it’s hard to tell the truth from the stories we tell ourselves and others.

I’ve always been interested in learning history from the point of view of the people doing the grunt work. A top-down view is a useful tool for strategic thinking and shift of perspective, but I’m more about hearing the stories from the people who have lived it, biases and all. Now, that comes with a massive caveat of course, in that ten people, living the same events, will inevitably tell ten different stories of the same event, despite all experiencing the same thing.

Their perspective is shaped and directed by the stories they’ve been told as kids, the interactions with the world around them, and their part in other people’s stories. The world around us is a continually evolving story, full of horror and pain, but also full of great resilience. There’s this web of stories, that we’re all mired in and perpetuate, that we tell ourselves to get through the week, the month, or until we just can’t anymore.

The story becomes frayed and worn, it stretches from having been trotted out and used so many times, and sooner or later, something will happen; you give in to the pull and allow yourself to become frayed by work, by relationships and walk the rest of your life in a comfortable groove. You rebel at the lies and at being mushroomed, you can see through the veil to what’s behind and like it or not, it’s there and is only getting bigger. You use what’s been provided and bootstrap yourself upstream.

Maybe your story is nothing like that, but it’s still a story that you’re able to write a part for yourself in. Some of it, there’s not much you can do; you can’t alone prevent pandemics, or stop a war, or have a pivotal say in the direction that the world seems to be taking. You can look around you with a critical mind though and filter the flow of information that you’re receiving.

I love stories. I’m sure it has a lot to do with how my mind is wired. I wasn’t that interested in reading until I hit about ten and then the dam burst, and I read everything I could get my hands on from the school library and my parents’ bookcase. Soon the shelves were depleted, and I started buying old books from a secondhand bookshop in Ryde, discovering old sci-fi and WW2 books. The books written by escaped RAF airmen or by the men who became guerrillas against the Japanese accounts from the eastern front written by men and women who lived through the slaughter.

These books helped to shape how I looked at the world and taught me the value of a questioning mind, to never look at a historical or current event without a filter. You often hear that history is written by the victors, but it’s more accurate to say that history is written by the people who have control over the flow of information that is fed to the rest of the tribe, whether that’s a town, city, country or continent, and that’s as true now as it was when a prehistoric man held the secret of making fire and debated whether to share the information with other tribes.

There’s always more threads of stories behind the accepted version of events, waiting to be uncovered, traced and understood, and then woven into the current edition of the official truth. Or not, of course, plenty to be had from suppressing the actual truth. Power, greed or the realisation of impending personal catastrophe, can spur even the meekest of men to commit acts that are brushed under the carpet afterwards for fear of embarrassing the [insert country, organisation or establishment of your choice].

Sometimes it’s done with the best of intentions as part of a wider story, sometimes not, but that one story was spun from past stories and itself births its own offshoots, that will wind their tendrils through future stories and shape new generations perspectives so that they too can write and participate in what I can only imagine being grandiose space operas, or some murky twilight existence lived in the wastelands of a stricken planet.

Maybe we become a hive-mind AI and disappear down the singularity like Alice down the rabbit hole, maybe we don’t crack FTL drives and are left to our paltry tribal squabbles in our own solar system, resources dwindling, waiting for a message to get back from the colony ships. Maybe humanity has a true war to end all wars, unites as one race and completely colonises the rest of the galaxy before learning how to step down through younger universes and effectively become immortal. Or maybe an asteroid will zip into the solar system, sped up to a few per cent of lightspeed by our galactic neighbours, and dust us before we even realise it.

I’d like to write more than these ramblings through my twisted mind, I’m just not sure what I want to write. It’d be nice if I could turn an ability with words into money appearing in my bank account, but I know that, like anything else, it’ll take hard work and practice before I see any results and for the moment at least, this is more a form of therapy to get the mental detritus out and into your mind instead of mine.

Enjoy the contents of your own story if you’re able to. If you can’t, then maybe it’s time to make some changes.

Just another blogger

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