And when the story ran out she started writing.

I flip stations on the radio even when the radio is off. I’ve learned this about myself. Maybe it is a preconditioned response: that I’m used to having my train of thought change course whenever the station changes ergo I expect to be able to change my train of thought just by the flip of a switch.

Most often, when I drive, my mind goes into a freeform “beanbag” creative space as just wanders around until it gets called out to slam on the brakes or swerve around a wayward pedestrian/vehicle/piece of road debris. These typically aren’t very productive creative sessions, but I find that they can be calming ( assuming that there isn’t too much swerving or slamming on the brakes).

I got to thinking about story archetypes. That is to say, the recurring archetypal story structures that we use; you know the ones- boy meets girl, life death rebirth, boy becomes man, girl becomes princess, happily ever after.

We tend to tell the same stories to ourselves over and over until it becomes the narrative of our lives. Why do you think there is such emphasis on “storybook” this and “epic” that and “Hollywood” everything? And likewise why there is such disillusionment with Hollywood when our lives, by the very fact of their non-narrative reality fail to live up to the apparent norm? Because stories are how we determine what the “norm” is: they are the structure that we measure our lives against.

In my life I’ve stayed pretty close to the narrative path: I’ve grown up, found a mate, gotten married and now I’m somewhere in “happily ever after”.

And I don’t really know where that is.

There really isn’t much narrative after getting married. At least not for women. The choices are Motherhood or Not-Motherhood. Motherhood consists of Good Mothers, Bad Mothers and Step Mothers. Not-Motherhood consists of… Well, I’m not really sure. Maybe no one knows. Life keeps happening even after the story is over.

I like to think of it as the afterlife. Now that I’ve marched across the Happily-Ever-After Rubicon I can get down to doing the things that I want to do instead of molding my experiences to follow a specific norm. This is both freeing and intimidating because now I’m getting off the beaten path and there’s no telling where out will end up.

Then again, it’s no fun if you know how it ends.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 28, 2016.

One Response to “Tuning”

  1. And welcome to the main course of life!

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