The making of a story

The making of a story

When that loyal figure uttered the words, “There is no rhyme or reason to this life, it’s days like today scattered among the rest…” the best I could do as a former student in the drama and theatre arts of dialogue and monologue and other ‘logues’ was to marvel at the precision of the line in a movie I got to watch at least a thousand times before the DVD developed scratches and rendered itself unwatchable.

That life is made up of endless uncertainties is certain, and the question is simple: why is there such heavy reliance on what is certain when one cannot tell for certain if they will be able to take the next breath? The system in which most of us are socialised teaches us (via the miseducation) that there are things that are sure and certain in life.
I chose not to believe this naïve assumption: there is more that is unsure in life than there is that which one can bank their chances on.

Each waking morrow is in actual fact a journey into the unknown and one is lucky if they make it into the streets of the land they set their mind or wish upon.
If you get to reach all the day’s goals, good for you that you are lucky enough to do so. Live life’s every moment like it is the last.
Sat back on a Sunday morning’s predawn (01: 15 AM) to stare (gaze) at stars I have been looking at from the age of nine, but this particular morning, my session was interrupted by one of those falling stars (comet) on a downward streak across the face of the starlit navy-blue night sky.

It takes 1, 2, 3, seconds for this strange phenomenon which we used to curse as children to occur, but a shooting star’s passing is such a rarity that I now find it nonsensical that I used to curse its passing as was taught by those that used to tell us to spit on a shooting star’s passing.
Back then we would shout, “You were not seen only by me! (followed by a spit at the trail of the comet in the sky)” alluding to the bad luck the sighting of a comet brought upon the seer.

I now wonder if it is wise to spit at the moon, or to whine about the weather of the day as we do, for I find that my answers to those that complain about are deemed a bit sarcastic.
If someone complains about the cold in June, my retort is simple, “It is winter, what do you expect? Tropical weather?!” and my answer is the same in the heat of the summer: learn to accept the conditions of the season and the season will give back more than you thought possible.

Be the man or the woman of the moment, of a character willing to accept the conditions as is, or as they are, for the whining about their extremity is futile effort as one cannot change the weather unless they are some alchemist.
In those episodes when sleep escapes me in the midst of this winter, I take my stick and get out to gaze at the beautiful stars in the clear winter sky and what I have come to realise is that there are new stars to see everyday in the vast milieu of visible constellations of the open night sky.

Even those constellations one has been sighting for the past years always reveal a new star if one looks closely enough.
There is just no way one cannot see a new star or at least some strange behaviour, for example, that a star one has been looking at for the past years kind of flickers or shimmers in some different manner on the day one is looking at them.

This past week, I went out and gazed at the Southern Cross (the Crux Australis), and caramba! I spotted a new star in the constellation and from that moment just after midnight realised that life in a manner follows the patterns of the stars across the sky.
There is always something new to see if one bothers to look, there is always something to find if one takes the effort to go out in search of it.

The one who finds has somehow bothered to take the pilgrimage in search of that which their heart wishes for.
Being complacent and staying in some comfort zone leads to one losing out on the true beauty of life: satisfying the unceasing human curiosity.
There is just no ignoring the fact all of us are in some manner satisfying the sense of curiosity that nags one from the moment one is born.

We are born staring at a world revolving around us and somehow go out in search of its meanings until the day we are interned into the soil from which our ancestors sprung.
What we find on the journey of life becomes a story of the individual, the story of the community/ies within which such an individual grows, and ultimately, those that go out in search of the meanings of the world and the existence of man end up capturing the stories of the world within their story.

What the old African or worldly man meant when he said, “I am because you are,” simply meant that no individual’s story can be told in isolation of the surrounding community and the environment within which such an individual grows.
The skies, the hills, the mountains, the streams, the kine, the kids, the raptors, the predators, and the human beings surrounding one all in some way contribute to the making of the individual’s story.

Access to them is often free, for one can by merely looking at them pose questions to self that help one to understand one’s self, which is actually more important than anything.
It is no use trying to understand what is without one’s self without first understanding what is within one’s self.
What makes one a writer of note is not talent, it is actually the acceptance of the simple fact that every story one has heard from the days of youth actually carried a meaning that is connected to the story of one as a writer.

We do not actually develop our style of writing but are actually taught how to write in the style that we do by the people we have come across in the years of our existence in the world.
The glory of one as a writer therefore does not belong to the writer but to the story-tellers, the folklorists, and the teachers that raised one and imparted (consciously and subconsciously) the sacred secret of the craft of penning words.

The poet begins by stuttering lines, is corrected by some elder or by a peer with more skill in the craft of poetry until one reaches a point where they can be considered a master of the craft.
It does not serve one right if one starts believing that the glory is theirs at this point, it serves one right if they follow the simple credo: “Thou shalt be humble always.”
The truth of the matter is that the writer is never at any point bigger than the stories they tell, the meaning in the story is actually the bigger party of the two for it is that through which the audience gauges the depth of the writer’s thought.

One as a writer is merely a vessel into which all the stories of the land are put in to be shared by the different audiences such a work shall come across in its life.
The story is drawn from the circumstances that life presents to the different creatures and the plants in the world in the form of experiences, and such experiences actually carry the meanings that give the story its essence in terms of its relation to the actual or perceived experiences of the people, the flora and the fauna in the world.
All of the entities existent in the world are related no matter how much one may deem them to be different.

This universal relationship between man and the world is so complete that the poet can tell the story of the individual man’s experiences through the life experiences of a plant or a tree.
It is not a mystery and there is nothing mystical about the use of such a technique (telling the story of a man’s life through the use of the life of an animal) in the recital of the tale.
The reality of the fact is that all that is in the world is there to define another, to clarify a certain element of character or some quaint behaviour that is prevalent in the individual. Likening a man to some plant, bird, animal or predator has been in use since time immemorial in the indigenous poetries of the aboriginal peoples of the world.
Clan names are drawn from animals and plants, and the decision to use them was sometimes (I presume) not that hard an affair because the individuals that gave such totemic names actually presented the qualities of the creature or plant selected.

This is not a random process but actually the result of careful observation and consideration.
The writer therefore cannot claim to have bought character they tell of in their story, the writer cannot claim to have fashioned the theme and the plot out of nothingness.
The truth and fact of the matter is that these aspects freely present themselves to the writer at a level conscious or subconscious.

All that remains is for one as a writer to make the effort to write about that which they consider and observe.
Claiming that there are no stories to write is in my simple judgement only the expression of laziness to dip the pen into the inkwell and to write about that which lies at the fore or the back of one’s mind as was felt, tasted, smelt, heard, and sighted by the seven senses of the body.

The point at which one reaches the “writer’s block” comes when one is reluctant to share that which they experienced at any given point in their life.
The block begins when one begins to pity themselves, to count the number of words one has written without realising that the words were actually not bought for coins.
Words and experiences are often not bought except in cases where the knowledge of such words and experience will actually help one as an individual to reach a new height of understanding or will actually gain some kind of wealth brought by the knowledge of such experiences and words.

What is free for all to access are the sights and the sounds, the tastes and the smells, the feelings the world showers us with everyday of ordinary living.
The only effort we pay oftentimes is to bother to capture them in the different forms of media available to us at the given moment in time.
Claiming that there was no way one could capture the moment is just in plain terms perjurious for the truth is that history presents clear evidence that one of the main human pursuits has been to capture the stories of the world around us.

From the inerasable (fact) rock paintings of the San, the Neanderthals, and other prehistoric communities of the world, it is quite clear that there has always been the itch to tell the story as is seen in the world around us.
Hieroglyphics, cuneiform and other forms of writing only came later, but the gist of the tale has never changed.

There is an inborn need to tell the stories of the world in all of their different forms.  That we have advanced to the stage where we can tell our stories in visual motion is a good sign of progress, but this kind of progress should not have us forget where it is that we began in the simple world that ignited the first sparks of our curiosity and had us questioning why we are here, what we are supposed to do, and how we shall get to achieve it. Lose not your curiosity, question everything, and remember to write about it in any manner available to you

. That, or so I believe, shall provide the answers to the world that we have to encounter in all the different faces it throws at us with each passing day.
Observe at all times, for the answers to your questions freely lie there for you to see.


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