Tangles and threads
Tunes for a Monday Morning

Living by stories

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From Ben Okri's A Way of Being Free:

"In a fractured age, when cynicism is god, here is a possible heresy: we live by stories, we also live in them.

"One way or another we are living the stories planted in us early or along the way, we are also living the stories we planted - knowingly or unknowingly - in ourselves. We live the stories that either give our lives meaning, or negate it with meaninglessness. If we change the stories we live by, quite possibly we change our lives."

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“What hope is there for individual reality or authenticity when the forces of violence and orthodoxy, the earthly powers of guns and bombs and manipulated public opinion make it impossible for us to be authentic and fulfilled human beings?

"The only hope is in the creation of alternative values, alternative realities. The only hope is in daring to redream one's place in the world -- a beautiful act of imagination, and a sustained act of self becoming. Which is to say that in some way or another we breach and confound the accepted frontiers of things."

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'The highest kind of writing -- which must not be confused with the most ambitious kind -- belongs to the realm of grace. Talent is part of it, certainly; a thorough understanding of the secret laws, absolutely. But finding the subject and theme which is in perfect harmony with your deepest nature, your forgotten selves, your hidden dreams, and the full unresonated essence of your life -- now that cannot be reached through searching, nor can it be stumbled upon through ambition. That sort of serendipity comes upon you on a lucky day. It may emerge even out of misfortune or defeat. You may happen upon it without realising that this is the work through which your whole life will sing. We should always be ready. We should always be humble. Creativity should always be a form of prayer.”

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