Discourse is dead. Soundbite hypnosis prevails. We’ve forgotten how to hear, watch, and read the lost narratives that swim around us, that weave us together. We’ve forgotten.
Or we’ve chosen to forget, to be illiterate, to ignore the narratives. Chosen to muddle them, to mask them, to distort them.
This is what I see when my optimism is smudged with soot and grease. This is what I was seeing when I came across Tim Akimoff’s thoughts on lost narratives. Or narrative illiteracy.
The saddest thing in the whole world right now is that we’re illiterate.
We’ve lost our sense of narrative. We only remember a few basic things, and into these things we try to cram every thing that makes us happy or sad.
If they fit nicely, we are comforted. If they don’t fit nicely, we re-write them or try to bury them…
The world is full of narratives. It is not ours to decide if they fit something we already understand…
It is ours to listen, to read, to watch. To look beyond the craftsmanship of story to the truths that tie us all together into one big, ugly, beautiful tribe…
And sometimes ours is to suffer in the lack of knowledge. Sometimes ours is to feel, with others, the tragedy that defies explanation. This too is story. (The Narrative, by Tim Akimoff on October 28, 2014, Medium)
Perhaps we can create a lost and found bin for narratives. Perhaps we are that bin… And we can filter through the lost narratives, listening and feeling, even suffering, the truths. And then perhaps we will wipe the smudge from our optimism with a hankie. And sally forth!
- Storytelling, Stillness & Deep Listening (virtualdavis.com)
- Seth’s Blog: The media needs a narrative (sethgodin.typepad.com)
- Stories rarely told: Listening, suppression and narrative burden (beyondmeds.com)