Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Story of a Lifetime

     Have you ever read any of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 100 Years of Solitude?  I started to read it last summer, and actually never finished the entirety of it.  It required patience and resolve that I just didn't have at the time.  The story spans, as its title indicates, one hundred years in one family.  You see generation after generation of complexity, and Marquez captures the magic and the myth that gets passed down from one to the next.  He is a brilliant storyteller. 
     For many reasons I have been thinking recently a great deal about stories and how they function in our lives and in our culture, personal and public narrative if you will (with a wink to fellow ESCers).  What is my life story?  What will it amount to?  Will it have all the structurally sound elements - strong plot with clear conflict, resolution, and character development?  What about a theme - will my story have a moral? 
     I'm not sure at this point what my story is or where it's going.  It's hard to analyze the theme when you're in the middle of the book.  I do think I have settled on one thing though, which is that I don't see myself as the author.  I'm leaving that job up to the Big Man.  His stories are far more magnificent than I could ever write, so I'm fine with letting Him tell His story through me. 
     I can feel an argument about agency coming, so without trying to get into a debate, I will only say that allowing God to write your story is a choice.  It is agency.  I choose to see my life as part of a story told by God to his creation, and it certainly takes a great deal of courage to hand over the pen.

1 comment:

  1. Don't take this in any blasphemous way, but I would strongly suggest you pick up Salman Rusdie's short novel "Haroun and the Sea of Stories". It may seem like a young adult book at first, what with the talking fish and the bus driver that appears in both the real world and the dream world like some Theseus-and-Oberon double-actor, but if you just let it roll it's actually quite a masterful feat of social and cultural examination. It's all about how we as people need stories in our lives, no matter where they come from or by whom they might be written, to retain our sense of purpose and dignity. It's a quick read and well worth it. (Also 100 Years of Solitude is a great book.)