Archive for the ‘narrative’ tag
“Reality exists only through experience, and it must be personal experience. However, once related, even personal experience becomes a narrative. Reality can’t be verified and doesn’t need to be, that can be left for the “reality-of-life” experts to debate. What is important is life. Reality is simply that I am sitting by the fire in this room which is black with grime and smoke and that I see the light of the fire dancing in his eyes. Reality is myself, reality is only ther perception of this instant and it can’t be related to another person. All that needs to be said is that outside, a mist is enclosing the green-blue mountain in a haze and your heart is reverberating with the rushing water of a swift-flowing stream.” (Gao XingJian, Soul Mountain, p. 15)
As you can tell, I am reading a Chinese novel written by Gao XingJian, the first Chinese writer to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. I have a print copy of the book, one of the rare print books on my book shelf here in China. Most of my “lighter” reading is done using ebooks or online articles. Yet when I read these lines yesterday evening, I knew that they belonged here as I talk about relationship with self.
I am, because I experience. Others are experienced by myself and become part of my myth, a narrative of my own creation. Not one of the others in my narrative are defined by my experience nor can they be defined by myself. We are each locked in our singular worlds of experience. And that experience is foggy at best as we don’t operate with full decks of cards in terms or our full functions. We process, categorize and create based on our limits of functions, based on our flawed perceptions of nature, matter, the universe and others.
And somehow, I get to have a narrative and invite others into relationship with me. And, all the while, it remains a story of one, a personal narrative, a personal myth.