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On Words & Stories

This was a thing he’d learned: that setting his hand on a girl’s back, and that girl letting his hand stay, led to fairy rings, and ponds full of stars. Even in its first faint traces, love could alter a landscape. It wrote unimagined stories and made the most beautiful, forbidding places. Love grew such strange things. – Wild Beauty, Anna-Marie McLemore

Stories of the past differ because storytellers are human beings. No storyteller is all knowing about the past, but limited by his or her own time and place, and the fact that no human sees every angle of everything…

To do their thing, storytellers “shape” the past. They decide what to include, what order to put things in, how to compress or combine scenes to save time and get to the money shot, and so on. They also invent dialogue and scenes to knit the narrative together…

Recalling the past is actually never simply a process of remembering but of creating a narrative out of discrete, imperfect memories (our own or those of others), woven together into a narrative thread that is deeply influenced by how we see ourselves and our world here and now.

The Bible Tells Me So, Peter Enns

Maybe the only thing we need is to be able to sing the songs we want and laugh to our heart’s content in a peaceful home with the people we love. – The Girl in the Tree, Şebnem İşigüzel

Your life is inseparable from everyone else’s and you are inextricably bound up with the lives of others. Let me put that another way: we are all other people’s stories. – The Girl in the Tree, Şebnem İşigüzel

If your heart is beating in your chest, you have a story. Everything you feel, your life, hopes, dreams, and moments of darkness are all your stories. – The Girl in the Tree, Şebnem İşigüzel

I believe that any time we tell stories… that embrace complexity, we are participating in Scripture’s wisdom tradition. We are doing the thing to which all artists are called, which is not to dazzle or instruct or lecture, but to tell the truth—in all its beauty, frustration, and surprise. – Inspired, Rachel Held Evans

Our relational God has given us a relational sacred text, one that, should we surrender to it, reminds us that being people of faith isn’t as much about being right as it is about being part of a community in restored and restorative relationship with God. – Inspired, Rachel Held Evans

Question everything anyone ever says to you or forces down your throat or makes you write a hundred times on the blackboard. Question every man that opens his mouth and spews out a law over your body and spirit. Question every single thing until you find the answer in a daydream. Don’t question yourself unless you hurt someone else. When you hurt someone else, sit down, and think, and think, and think, and then make it right. Apologize when you fuck up. Live forever…

Do not be afraid. Do not doubt yourself. Do not hide…

Love your fat, fucking glorious body…

Read all the books that make you whole. Read all the books that pull you out of the present and into the future. Read all the books about women who get tattoos, and break hearts, and rob banks, and start heavy metal bands. Read every single one of them. Kiss everyone. Ask first…

Trust the Universe. Trust your damn self. Love hard, deep, without restraint or doubt. Love everything that brushes past your skin and lives inside your soul. Love yourself.

Juliet Takes a Breath, Gabby Rivera

Reading would make me brilliant, but writing would make me infinite. – Juliet Takes a Breath, Gabby Rivera

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