"For the first time in my life, I realized that telling the truth was way different from finding the truth, and finding the truth had everything to do with revisiting and rearranging words. Revisiting and rearranging words didn't only require vocabulary; it required will, and maybe courage. Revised word patterns were revised thought patterns. Revised thought patterns shaped memory."
- from Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
They say that your memory of what happened changes as soon as you tell the story.
To tell a story thus brings up questions of "the truth."
Is that really how it happened?
Were you as heroic as you claim; the beast as big as you imagined?
We make choices constantly.
What to include, what to leave out.
What to remember; what to forget.
You tell a story one way, you start believing it that way.
For some, this smacks of lying.
For me, it is the opposite.
Story is essential to your quest for truth, and your hunt for freedom.
Story is an answer to the question of who you are, and what you're capable of.
Not just now, but in the future.
Not just now, but in the past.
With story comes the power to revise.
The power to create and the power to destroy.
Whole cultural narratives, in fact, rest on the shaping and re-shaping of words.
As they say, the losers don't write the history books.
My question is: What could be more true, than your possession of this power?
And what could require more courage, than to actually embrace it?
It's too easy to wonder if we're "telling" the truth.