Sunday, February 2, 2014

Stories are Difficult -- Titles Moreso

Ok, I’ll come clean, I’ll be blunt. This whole blogging thing? Keeping people updated with the occasional story or account of a jaunt? Yaknow, the idea of documenting my experience and publicly updating others who are interested?

I suck at it.

That’s not to say I’m not trying. I’ve spent a large amount of time in the past few months attempting and trying to write many, many different stories. I’ve tried writing different accounts with different styles and voices. I’ve sought to create a fair window or picture of a few experiences or stories that I’ve witnessed and find myself wanting to share. I’ve started telling of first fails and slow masteries. I’ve begun accounts of silly jaunts, and I’ve outlined sobering stories from people that I’ve been lucky enough to sit in conversation with.

How many stories have I finished writing of late? Frighteningly, frighteningly few.

Why? Well…

Good question. I mean, I really love telling stories.

  • I gigglejoy at times when I’m able to use the perfect setup of words to give details in a way that grants a certain tone or a fair perspective.
  • I enjoy fully explaining what I understand, or giving a accurate account of a situation as I see it.
  • I find amusement and wonder in asking the questions that set one’s brain tingling and whirring in annoyance at the thoughts that won’t leave them alone—at the way something is.  
  • I love telling of what I’ve done in ways that fairly represent everyone involved: all from differing backgrounds, stories, places, lives.

I thrive in the world of vague philosophical beauty—embracing the starry blanket of mystery that pervades within life. I find joy in concrete logical reasoning—when a situation is as simple, categorized, and straightforward as a mathematical equation. I like to fully know and understand what I’m writing about—I like to be correct in the facts, and open to the mystery. I like to dance between the worlds in ‘correct’ and ‘safe’ accounts that I feel are fair.

There is a great joy within the moderate merger of the two. After all, reality is rarely solely idealized mystery or logical fact, right?

So… Why am I struggling with telling stories? Why am I finding my tales incomplete?

Because: I’m faced with concrete, tangible reality that I. Don’t. Understand.

I don’t have the reason, I don’t have the logic. Philosophic ideas and concepts can’t touch this—it’s far too real.

I… I just like to know. I like to feel that there is a reason. I like to trust that I can explain out a situation, or provide comfort (for myself) that an injustice is reasoned (far-far different than reasonable or just).

I guess I’m just... normal. I don’t like to feel lost; I don’t like to feel vulnerable. I don’t like to hurt.

 I don’t like to fail. I don’t want to feel as though my account does an injustice to a voice in the story, gives an incorrect reason for what has happened (for there must be reasons!) or have the potential to be unknowingly hurtful to myself or others.

Yet… if my ‘actions’ within YAGM were solely based within knowing exactly what I was doing or feeling confident that I was acting fairly and ‘in the right’ I’d still be chilling in Chicago.

Eh, no. I’d still be in North Dakota.

So the YAGM journey (read: life in general) requires acting within a circle of unknowing and vulnerability. That’s just how it is. I expect to fail daily; I expect to learn daily. Yet, still, I’ve struggled more and more with trying to create any sort of account of what I’ve seen or done—an account written in a ‘correct’ way which will grant some sort of justice to what I’ve seen, felt, heard, experienced, or done. I want to be able to provide reason for experience, explanation for situation, and evidence of the ‘advancing’ conditions in a way that points to an end plan of ‘justice’ or ‘progress’.

Problem? There is no reason.

Ok, I know that there are reasons. I’m friends with philosophy buffs, I’ve roomed with debaters. I know you can explain things out within certain reason based evidence patterns.
But… again.

There is no reason. There is no fair justification or fair explanation for what is.  
  • There is no reason that families—mothers, children, fathers, grandparents—flee into the jungles for time spanning from weeks to months in efforts to avoid deportation.
  • There is no reason that a person’s value, worth, and capabilities within society are determined solely by their religious identification—a few letters printed out on their ID card verifying their religious family; their social standing.
  • There is no reason that children are living stateless—claimed by no country; denied all safety and security that comes with national belonging; that comes with having a country to call home.

Again, I know that one can give reasons for why things are. I know that we can all sit around pondering why there is suffering, each of us coming up with our own answers, our own comforts.

It’s easy to have all the answers before you meet the questions.

So… how can I tell the story? How can create a written account that doesn't fail to tell the story as it is—an account that is correct, fair, and just in all ways which I am able to create. A story that has… reasons?

I think, for me, the first part in being able to write the ‘correct’ story is to admit to myself that I can’t write the ‘correct’ story.

Unfortunately for me, my BA is not in “Understanding the World and why it is the way it is”. I cannot write a story with accurate reasons and assurance that all accounts are fair and just. I cannot provide answers to the question “Why?”. I simply cannot.

But, I most certainly can try.

For some reason, trying to write a story that I know I cannot write feels less helpless than trying to create a ‘correct’ story I believe possible to write. Is that strange? Maybe…

So… conclusion?

Why have I not been telling stories, giving reasons? Because I thought I could.

Knowing that I cannot fairly tell the stories allows for me to accept that my attempts—my rambles, blabs, accounts—will not be perfect. And knowing that allows confidence to release the incomplete, to openly talk about the experiences which I don’t understand, and to discuss the situations for which I can find no reason. Will they fail to justify and grant reason to what I see, feel, and experience? Absolutely!

For indeed, that is the best I can do.