(Image from here)
How do you tell a story?
Remember, how they told you all stories were autobiographical? First, you erase that off your book of notions. You don't tell a story all by yourself. You agree to tell a story that chooses to be told by you. You got that? Next, you pick the story. Carefully. Reverently. And you wring yourself out of it. Rinse it completely dry of you. Not a trace of you in there. For a true story is unlike entertainment, or gossip, or masturbation. It is utterly unlike an entente cordiale of mutual indulgence between the writer and the audience that you come across every other day. A true story is something you find, like a perfectly formed pebble sleeping quietly at the bottom of a noisy rapid stream. It is like those unlikely creatures that lurk in the dark echoing depths of the ocean. Alien to your limited understanding, but familiar to their environment. You are a flake, a fluke flake. They are real. You are ephemeral. They are eternal, ruling in their depths for an eternity. "You are 90% metaphor with a leanness of meaning approaching hyperdistillation" as per Ani Difranco. You are a metaphor, for them, stories. So there. Now you have a story. It is not your story, mind it. You merely found it. It is not a story that you own. Although the story may very well own you, in a manner. You are just a narrator, at best. A folk singer. A medium. It is crucial to understand that. And if you can understand that, there you are, among an elite family of story-tellers across the ages.
(Image: The Storyteller by Howard Terpning)
Thus spake Manish Bhatt