THE STORIES OF OUR LIVES

THE STORIES OF OUR LIVES

We are all of us affected by each other’s stories.  It is the way we humans connect.   All of these stories, the ones we live and the ones others live, have the power to reach into us, to allow us to build bridges.  Telling a story, writing a poem that looks at our lives and other people’s lives is like reaching out a hand in the expectation that fingers will be there waiting to slip into our own.

This action – writing down the words– takes courage.  It very often hurts and can be a very scary thing.  Taking it one step further, sharing the story with other folks, can be an act of mana and power – a magical thing.   Sharing our stories has the power to heal.  With stories we can heal ourselves and we can heal each other.

In this beautiful TED talk from the TEDGlobal 2011 stage, actor and dancer Thandie Newton tells a story about her life in a way that helps us see how we can make our own bridges with the people around us.

In my own poetry practice, I’ve reached a similar conclusion…


STORIES

Every person is a story

Made up of hopes and fears,

Paths passed up and others taken,

Through the passage of the years.

 

Every person is a story

With lessons learned and missed,

Travails endured, and sorrows,

And every joy that forms its gist.

 

Every person is a story,

Full of beginnings and of ends,

And every life’s another page

In the dream that never ends.

 

Every person is a story

And every story is true.

The best we can do for one another

Is to remember how the other flew.

By Netta Kanoho

Header picture credit:  “Storyteller” by Hans Splinter via Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]

Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below.

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20 thoughts on “THE STORIES OF OUR LIVES

  1. This is an excellent idea! So many of us struggle with personal issues and will keep those bottled up inside until we explode. Writing about our life in the format you present gives us a way to unload and let go. I really like the poem you left about everyone having a story. Great work!

    1. Thanks for the visit and the encouragement. I hope you’ll come again….

      — Netta

  2. Thandie Newton is not only a talented actor, but also an inspirational woman. Embracing otherness is hard to do, especially at times when our egos and separate selves are at stake.

    Your poem is simple and to-the-point and encourages people to put less focus on the superficial self.

    Wonderful post! I enjoyed it very much.

    1. Thanks for the visit, Andrea. I’m glad you liked it.

      Best…
      Netta

  3. Matt's Mom says:

    I don’t know that I would want to share my story with others….seems pretty boring actually…. my life that is. There are a lot of interesting people who I would love to hear talk about themselves though. Where did that poem come from in your article? Was this from Thandie Newton?

    1. Hey Leahrae:

      Actually I wrote the poem my own self. And, for real, think on this: Most everybody’s life feels boring to themselves because they’re living in it and are used to it. Fish just don’t NOTICE the water they’re swimming in. Thanks for the visit.

      Best…

      Netta

  4. I love to hear other people’s stories. It might be sad, happy story, but one of my favourites are the ones who has a true life in them, a true lesson.

    I also love to read success stories. How a simple and regular person having nothing reached so high and changed his/her life from the background. I secretly dream to do this myself, probably that’s why I like it so much…

    I wish you all the best, Jolita

    1. Thanks, Jolita! Come visit again….I’ll try to include lots of stories!

  5. Carmen & Ben says:

    I love love love this poem.  I love where you state that every one of our stories is true even though it’s probably different to everyone else’s stories.

    There is no right or wrong stories, just the lenses in which we see them and what we take from the experiences.

    Thanks so much.  this is beautiful.

    1. Carmen and Ben, thank you for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  

      Please do come again….

  6. Ilaisaane Tuakalau says:

    Excellent article. I watched Thandie Newton TedEx talk and it resonates with me deeply. I have grown up with great identity crisis and confusion of my “self” – and continuously trying to please the ‘projection’ of others about my ‘self’. 

    However, I have survived my life, and today, can stand back with total self-awareness of who I truly am and should be.The one thing that has empowered me do that so, is when I look at my own children’s stories and  ask myself, how I can enable them too, to find their own essence of their ‘selves’ and their own stories, without any projection from me, or anyone else.

    Yes, everyone has a story.

    1. Good for you, Ilaisaane!  That is a wonderful thing to have accomplished!

      Thank you for the visit and for sharing your story.  I do appreciate it.

      Please do come again….

  7. Beautiful poem! I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts on writing and sharing stories. It is an act of courage and requires the willingness to be vulnerable. I am a bit of singer-songwriter and I write music and lyrics for my guitar. The songs I write are often abstract but they each tell a little piece of my story. I am often inspired to write after I have a difficult or even traumatic experience. The lyrics communicate with music and verse what I could never communicate through simply talking to someone.

    It can be hard to share them with anyone else because truly they are a little piece of my soul! I love the lyric from Anna Nalick’s song Breathe, “And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd, cause these words are my diary screaming out loud and I know that you’ll use them however you want to.” To me, that is a perfect synopsis of how it feels.

    But despite the fear, it is a healing experience to share that part of yourself because it allows others to get a glimpse of the real you!

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.

      I especially thank you for sharing the lyric from Anna Nalick’s song.  It does so capture the feeling of sharing the pieces of you!

      Please do come again….

  8. Hello again, Netta.

    Stories… yes, we all have a story and, yes, they somehow affect everyone around us and in some cases Indirectly like the video you included.

    Kind of rings true in that when we start to think of or put others first (maybe not all of the time), something happens inside us.  We feel different.  A good kind of different and I think that’s the way it was supposed to be right from the beginning.

    Even though that is the kind of person we really want to be and know we should be, there is a conflict going on with the sinful “Self” that focuses inward instead of outward to our fellow man.

    To me, that is the conflict that needs to be overcome.

    Thank you for your insight. Working on it,

    Wayne

    1. Good on ya, Wayne!

      I do thank you for the visit and for sharing your story.  

      Please do come again….

  9. very nice website, and I’ve only scratched the surface at time of writing. I thought I could make a living from writing poems there back in 1995 myself, but am not so sure now as life has a way of reminding us, maybe a majority of us, that we must earn cash to pay bills, and I’m not sure how many high paying poet jobs there are. 

    If you’re in a position where you are enabled to do this, as you’ve a safety net, or financial security to some degree and this is what you know, as a way of helping others, great, and it’s good to teach others from your experiences. 

    I’ll be back again from time to time to see how this story unfolds, the story of your life. 

     

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts, Niall.  You do pose a pertinent question:  Does my poetry pay the bills?  Short answer is no.  Long answer is being able to do the work adds a bunch more life to my life.

      My poetry is more my way of illustrating the ways I’ve discovered to add to the richness of whatever life a person chooses to live.  

      I agree.  We all have to eat.  We all need to pay bills and survive.  But, a good life is more than just survival, neh?

      Come visit again.  We’ll see how this story unfolds….

  10. I knew the TED talk would make me tear up so, I grabbed a tissue and settled in for the inevitable, willingly and gratefully.

    I knew your poetry would reach inside my heart as well and as well it did!  I am a strong believer that writing heals and, you are another testament to that fact for myself and others like you. 

    It’s still strange to me how terrifying it was for me to actually begin sharing what I’ve written over the years.  It does take courage to write it all down and the process of sharing it, indeed Netta, is a magik that can be felt more-readily than it can be described.

    I can’t help to not comment on one of your readers who thinks that maybe her story isn’t exciting enough or, that she would like to hear from someone she finds more interesting than herself.  To her and, anyone else that may feel that way I would say what I have told others that think my life is so much more ‘interesting’ : “You need to understand that you are a part of my life and, you are one of the reasons my life is as interesting as you describe it.”  Even the commenter became a part of my story for the day.  Heck, being a mother is a story of bravery and dedication in itself!  

    Netta, thank you for sharing your poem and, a piece of your journey with us.  I’m going to go sing in the shower now…and, get down with my nothingness! <3

    1. Fyre, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  

      I agree totally that everyone’s story is a part of my own and when I share mine (and other people’s), then perhaps the ones who feel like their story is not “enough” for some reason may come to understand that every story is a brave and beauteous thing in and of itself.  As life is.

      Please do come again.  

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