- February 24th, 2011
I love it when the life we create from within us, as Giselle has done with the characters in her book, connects in subtle and meaningful ways with our 'outside' lives. In this case, with that part of life that we have no control over at all, that part that is fated or preordained. (Grandpa Scally having been named long before she was born.) Personally, I am a great believer in the relationship between narrative and meaning, that is, I think that we create the meaning of our lives through the stories we tell ourselves. If you suffer a lot, for example, you can see yourself as a victim, weak and powerless, or you can see yourself as a survivor who perseveres despite adversity. I don't mean to suggest that people should just rewrite their stories in order to be happier. The story has to feel true. Only a story that feels true has meaning. As human beings, we may be driven by a desire for meaning, but we crave both simplicity and complexity at the same time. That's the way our brains work, on several levels simultaneously. So I think that meaning has to be experienced to feel true, and this demands a 'story' that engages us on several levels-- sensory, emotional, intellectual-- to create a vividness and depth and cohesion that seems to connect both the different parts of ourselves and perhaps ourselves to the larger world.
(Where did I just read that people want to be in a narrative, want to see their lives as a story?)