Reprinted from Linda Wisniewski’s blog, February 24, 2018
I’ve heard that writers write to make sense of the world. That’s certainly been true for me. And yet, the world seems to have become even less understandable over my lifetime. Aren’t we supposed to become wiser with age? What is the reason for the interpersonal division in our country? We seem to be on ever more opposing wavelengths. We can’t even talk to people we disagree with without insulting them, in person or online, so we mostly just give up.
Author and speaker Charles Eisenstein says our world looks so crazy because we are in “the space between stories.” The old story said our society was sound, our ecology was fine and our economy was just. But that old story is falling apart, and many of us are afraid. We want to go back , when life was safe, stable. As progressive as we like to think we are, a friend and I recently shared a longing for the “old days” when folks aspired to work in a shoe store or deliver milk on a truck. It feels as if the world is falling apart around us. We feel alienated, unsure of our place. We are in what Eisenstein calls “a period of true unknowing.”
We are between stories.
Who knows what the next story will be? I am hoping for one called “We Are All In This Together.”
Many of us have rejected the old duality of this or that, one or the other, Republican or Democrat, us or them, liberal or conservative, male or female, East or West, cat people or dog people….okay, just kidding. But really, haven’t you noticed the breakdown of the old story? The old roles bind us no more. Women are now empowered in fiction and movies, men in the programs we watch are stay at home dads with real feelings, and even gender can be fluid. Voters give up, feeling alienated from our leaders. Young people are calling BS. We’re all restless, looking for a new story to explain our place in the world.
“We are the one’s we’ve been waiting for,” said the poet June Jordan, the author Alice Walker, and the lyrics of a song by Sweet Honey in the Rock.
Looking for signs of the new story gives me comfort. Maybe this is the time I was meant to be alive. What about you? Have you ever felt “in the space between stories?” Why not take some time to write about it, right now?
Linda Wisniewski shares an empty nest with her retired scientist husband in Bucks County, where she writes for two local newspapers. Her work has been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Sun, Massage, gravel, the Christian Science Monitor, The Quilter and many other places both print and online. Linda volunteers as a docent at the Pearl Buck Historic House and teaches memoir workshops at their Writing Center. Her memoir, Off Kilter, was published in 2008 by Pearlsong Press. For more information, see her website.
What a good way to frame this!
On Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 4:03 AM Telling HerStories: The Broad View wrote:
> lindawis posted: ” Reprinted from Linda Wisniewski’s blog, February 24, > 2018 I’ve heard that writers write to make sense of the world. That’s > certainly been true for me. And yet, the world seems to have become even > less understandable over my lifetime. Aren’t we suppos” >
Thanks, Janet! I am always looking for ways to make sense of things. 😉
LInda, the concept of being “between stories” is perfect. I see it in to many who want to go back to “the good old days”–only they were only that good in our memories. Thanks for putting it so well.
Thanks, Judy, for the validation! 😉 Much appreciated.
Thank you Linda. What a wonderful article.
I also feel we are all in between lives, in between stories, and must hold on.
You asked, Have you ever felt “in the space between stories?” God YES. I’m smack in the middle of this right now with two parents in their 80s having recent serious health issues.
Just today I was thinking this very thing: “Looking for signs of the new story gives me comfort. Maybe this is the time I was meant to be alive.” Thanks for this.
Many friends of mine, my age (mid 50s) seem to be questioning this ‘reason’ for being here. I am also comforted by telling my new story, by writing my memoir now and re writing the ending.
Thank you for your comment, Michelle. I believe you are right, telling your new story and writing a new ending, is a comfort. It was for me!