Sometimes, life's greatest fictions occur in front of our eyes. Other times, they're stories told to us over camp fires, revealing the hopes and fears of their orators. Some are carved into the pages of ornate classics; others are splashed across the headlines of the media or spray-painted onto the digitized walls of the big screen.
Whether they're oral or in some or other form of the visual or sensual, words and images evoke emotion and memory. They link us to a time when we also felt those things implied by them: fear, sadness, helplessness, elation, ecstasy, hate. And so runs this multi-coloured thread of humanity and insanity. Life is a tangible fiction, really. We make it up as we go along, all the while relying on the raw material box of odds and ends we're given at the beginning, adding the stuff that we pick up along the way, and stealing and borrowing bits and bobs too. Its what makes us plain human. We rely on instinct to survive. We beg, borrow and steal. We use intellect to plan, plot and maraud. Then we dig deep down into that spiritual core to look for redemption, contentment, and a ticket to the paradise of enlightenment and a hoped for full realisation of all that we are.
I listen to stories every day. Ask someone what their name means, and a story unfolds. Its happy. Its sad. Its somewhat bittersweet. Or its just nothing. I met a beautiful French woman. She was well-dressed, poised and confident. She spoke much of her travels around the world, and her choice to settle in South Africa. She had an old world charm about her that reminded me of my grandmother. Only, her name unsettled her. Her name was Ettie. She said it made her feel ugly and insignificant. Not beautiful and meant for fame like Alexandria, for example.
Then, there's stories that are overtly exaggerated in their intent. Stories that carry with them an energy that makes you feel like you're listening to the diatribe of someone whose life lacks lustre. An addict of victim hood. A virtuous complaints agent. Someone wanting to irately dump their hot potato on your lap. That energy overrides your own, blocks your flow of inspiration and makes you want to say: 'Stop!'
Until you retreat to the cave in your mind. Silence. Then the realisation dawns. The simple human drama's that manifest in every persons mind and life, are resemblant of some of your own. We mirror each other on this journey. Either by way of learning a lesson we may not have been able to in the past, or in preparation for a forthcoming event. Or maybe its just part of our collection of data to do as we please with. Or not.
But then, there's some stories that, no matter how much you'd rather not hear them, they keep coming back to you. Grating, like sandpaper to your skin, they retell themselves...They emerge in your dreams and add salt to your food. And just when you think you've read the end credits, they start all over in someone else's words...
Local Council By-Elections April 2017
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