‘Like mirrors, stories prepare us for the day to come. They distract us from the things in the darkness.’ – Neil Gaiman
I don’t understand the world too well. No, forget the big things like war and violence and love and disagreements – not that they aren’t important. But I feel like I have never really even understood the world in its most mundane, everyday self. Why does it function like that? Like… clockwork. People are born, they die, empires are built, dynasties are wiped out. But the world still keeps moving on. We still drink our morning coffee, leave for work, come back, kiss our loving partners, sometimes for special occasions do special things and just keep moving on. When did it learn this resolve, this fortitude?
That’s why I write stories. So I can try and understand the world in ways that miss me when I look at it in passing. For in stories, I can break everything down into little bits. I can explore, explain, exploit every single doubt and feeling that I had in my mind from the day I began to understand that the world was not just through my eyes. It was through the eyes of the mechanic at the end of the street, and the woman knitting garlands at the roadside – even the multimillionaire reading a self help book in the toilet.
Stories create questions. Do you see something the same way I see them? Has your world given you a different perception of this? But we live in the same world, don’t we? Do we?
‘Fairy Tales are more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be defeated’. – G. K. Chesterton