Monday, April 18, 2016

A Cautionary Tale

Last week I found myself telling a class a story about some people - essentially nice, likeable ones - I knew back in my youth and how things had turned out for them over the years, related to a mistake they made in their callow years and its manifold repercussions. I was aware there was something of an element of over-simplification in my narration (when do we ever do justice to the complexity of the experiences of others, especially painful ones?) but I felt that in some ways I did justice to the facts. Indeed, in the very telling I had a sense that I was seeing a truth about the situation that had unfolded over time, and that I was only now grasping in its fullness. I hadn't in any way prepared for the telling, and that in itself added a kind of honesty to what I was saying.

Something I'm realising more and more these days is that it's only with time that the full arc of a non-fictional narrative can work itself out - and even then no story is ever complete until its actors have left us, which may a long, long time if several generations are involved. This is all a bit intimidating if our tales are essentially based around our follies; we can only pray that some story-lines derive from our more noble moments, assuming we have them


Anonymous said...

Hi sir, just discovered your blog and have been reading it and procrastinating for the past one hour. Really interesting getting to see your perspectives on things.

Brian Connor said...

Thanks for the comment. Nice to know it's caught your interest. But hope you're not procrastinating over some important IA or EE or TOK essay!