Great stories are made when imagination meets critical and emotional intelligence, when inspiration meets discipline. Yet, there are untold stories that happen in real life and they’re made from the interaction between people, actions, feelings and favorable/unfavorable circumstances. Of these I am writing today, asking: is a story a story if it’s untold? When does a happening becomes a story, when it happens, or when it’s told?
In my little, but highly active mind lay tens of stories – about myself, my family, my friends or the imaginary characters I go to bed with. I have shared some of them, but some are left in the dark. None has been written though. Going through these stories in my mind, putting them together into a collection, is something I very often do. And is very often when I give up on writing them, it’s not their time….
It is time for this story though, and I want you to tell me: when was it born, when things happened, or now, when I’m writing it?
Blake was a hyper active at 2-years-old, his curiosity made him climb everywhere – chairs, beds, tables, attics, roofs. He made sure nothing escaped his destroying grip – not his toys, not his sister’s toys, not his father’s mechanical tools. His story is a build-up of funny and dramatic episodes, the people surrounding him don’t focus on his feelings or thoughts, he is only considered through his actions – which truth be told, are sometimes too much for someone who doesn’t know how to asses a situation objectively. Yes, he is too much for his parents.
Blake was born on a winter night, and his coming into this world was rushed mercilessly by a nurse, towards the end of her shift, who wanted to be the one to receive the money for his birth, not the nurse on the upcoming shift. She pushed the mother’s belly and pulled him by his head, to get him out. He was administered antibiotics immediately after birth, without the permission or knowledge of his mother, who found out days later that her child had been sick. She was told not to worry, he was ok. Eighteen years later, after terrible headaches and multiple visits to the doctor, they found out the outcome of the hurried birth: a brain cyst caused by the trauma he suffered when he was born. The doctors say it’s not cancer, or a tumor , nor it is deadly now. But the statistics say that only 8% of children that have this cyst live more than 2 years, and most of them suffer of mental retard or have motion troubles.
At two, Blake climbed the chair to get to the light switch and turn the light on, but he fell and broke his right arm. He was taken to the nearest hospital, where the orthopaed wanted to cut his arm off. Luckily for him, his parents, took him to another hospital, where they realigned his arm and put it in a cast. Growing up, he proved to be left-handed, but his parents attributed this to him breaking his right arm and being afraid to use it, so they forced him to become right-handed. No more eating with your left, no way of writing with your left hand. End of discussion.
School proved to be a torture for him so he hated it for the entire time, throughout his school years. Teachers thought him stupid and told him so, they compared him to his sister, they bullied him constantly. In the meantime, at home he was always the black sheep, guilty of anything and everything bad. Father calling him names, mother crying for him and because of him, constant fighting and ugliness.
Blake hit his head hundreds of times, broke fingers, ankles, cut feet, forehead and everything possible… He accused his parents of not loving him, his sister of being a stranger. He is now 21, working in a warehouse after having finished high school. He has been smoking almost constantly since he was 14 and has gotten into drinking more recently. He suffers anxious episodes and should be under constant therapy and counseling. At night, alone and scared of death, he threatens everyone, by saying he had a dream about this day coming…. What day would he be talking about and why is he even thinking about it?
Once it’s been born, a story grows in every reader’s/listener’s mind, for they give it new meanings, new interpretations adding, this way, to its development. They may even choose to give it an ending if it doesn’t have one… I, as a beginner, can only hope my stories will be as good as to deserve being given meanings, interpretations and endings and work towards this goal.
- Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling (storytellingnomad.wordpress.com)
- The Beginning (passionsandconfusions.wordpress.com)
- Three Storytelling Tips That Can Bring Content to Life (business2community.com)