But how could you live and have no story to tell?
― Fyodor Dostoevsky
I stumbled upon a quote from Ernest Hemingway which claims: All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.
I thought about it, and here it comes: We are stories and stardust.
Each of us carries a story. There are so many of them out there: stories of believing, stories of hope, and honor, stories of failure, heroism, and heartbreak. Stories which make us melt, but which also make us who we are.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. — Maya Angelou
Story after story, we become. When we write stories, tell stories, share stories, we become nuanced, fragile, complex, confused, and beautiful.
You don’t know you’ve been holding your breath until you let go.
What else is there to do apart from telling our story? Well, one more thing that is just as important: to listen. Not to try to fix anything, or correct other stories, sometimes not even to understand, but listen. It is saying those things out loud and listening to them being said that keeps us from falling apart.
The most important thing in all human relationships is conversation, but people don’t talk anymore, they don’t sit down to talk and listen. If we want to change the world, we have to go back to a time when warriors would gather round a fire and tell stories.
Because as much as we are stardust, we are also stories. The world might be full of chaos and violence, and it’s not always easy to find your way within it. We can be saved only by sharing stories — stories of being a parent, a friend, a lover, a writer, a traveler, a human. Maybe by telling them and imagining the futures, we hope for we can make them real, and maybe not, but either way, we must tell them.
We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, are our stories.
Stories are like stars in the dark satin of the sky. Some are long forgotten but their light still shines upon us. Some are there but we cannot see them. Some have remained in the same place for such a long time that we simply take them for granted. Some show us the way through the darkest night. All together they form a sky we look up at for meaning and inspiration as we move forward, slowly but persistently, step by step.
Your story may be wicked, and twisted, and not quite finished yet, but you should be telling it anyway. It’s a story that only you can tell.
It’s the way I’ll remake myself again. In fact, I think it is the only way we’ll remake each other: with stories, and with love.
Originally published at medium.com