Because I hate small talk.
Because I don’t like beating around the bush.
Because I’m a terrible liar and I feel like I’m polluting the air if I’m going on about things that I don’t care about.
I tell true stories because then I don’t have to keep everything inside of me, pretending that the second martini I had the other night was no big thing. That taking the wrong exit off the bridge as I drove home was an honest mistake.
I tell true stories because, like the poet Alison Luterman says, “If something is in your way then it’s going your way,” which means the worry over those martinis is worth writing about because they are, well, in my way. I can pretend they don’t bother me. I can chalk it up to being tired and the fun of being with an old friend. But what did bother me was that wrong turn, how I found myself heading north late at night instead of south – which gets me thinking about the other areas where I am going the wrong way.
I tell true stories because of these bridges, the ones that connect you to me when we reach for real words that accurately describe the approximate weight of our love and our sadness, words that speak to what’s actually happening in our marriages and in our relationships, how we are dealing with aging – that march toward the inevitable – and how honestly we’re living our lives in the face of that.
I go deep and I get real in person and on the page because I want to live in a world where I can run into a teacher from my kid’s school who I only know peripherally, and after the usual chatter about how my daughter is doing in college, we get down to the real stuff and I tell him about the other changes in my life and what my marriage looks like today – how I had underestimated my emotional attachment to my family, and how crushed I feel when I remember all the years I tried to get away from all of them because I couldn’t think straight with all that noise, because I thought they were getting in the way of my business and my success. Because I dreamed of being alone and now I practically am alone, and dreaming something and then living that dream can sometimes feel like a terrible, terrible surprise.
I want to live in a world where my response to his “how are you?” is honest, and which enables this man I barely know to talk about his life and what’s actually going on. To have 15-minutes of my day be spent in a vital connection with another person – whether that’s on or off the page.
This sustains me. It connects me. It enables me to show up with more vulnerability, which encourages your vulnerability, and which means that something authentic might happen between us. And then there’s my dream that when one of us makes these more true sounds, then others will make their own true sounds, and we’ll all end up like ducks meeting at a pond, making a terrible yacking racket of truth.
I tell true stories because there isn’t enough time for anything else.
If you would like to join my tribe of true storytellers, I welcome you. Telling True Stories, my 5-week online writing class starts on October 14th. Join us.
You tell true stories because people like me are starving for them.
You tell true stories because it’s medicine.
You tell true stories because you are magic.
You tell true stories because I need to hear what the truth sounds like so when I sit down to write, I recognize it, its particular hum, and can write towards it, can find the harmony.
i think we need each other babes…the more we can make these sounds together, the more part of our lives they will be – it will be normal, welcome to tell it like it really is. Love and Adore = you.
Your true stories leads to my true stories and with that I find the truth about myself and the running and rushing away really means I need to go back and feel it all, listen to it all, be with it all.
you are so right Stef – this – “the running and rushing away really means I need to go back and feel it all, listen to it all, be with it all.” YES. YES. YES. And so much love…xxx
You tell true stories because then I recognize the truth of MY story in the truth of YOUR story. That is the bridge, like you said. It’s like a doorway. A pass code. Without it, we’re just all hovering around on the landing wanting in. Thanks for letting us in!
Oh yes – hovering around on the landing zone. I know that place, it’s creepy. You are the real deal Susie – you know how to make that terrible, wonderful racket. Thank goodness. xxx
Yes, for sure I need a frequent dose of that “terrible yacking racket of truth.” I love that, because it might start out terrible, but it ends up being a gorgeous racket, with so much unexpected beauty in it. Thanks for reminding me that letting it out this way, dirt and tears and martinis and all – is possible on a regular basis. Love you! xxoo
thank god for you and our walks and how messy and wonderful we get in 6 miles. I’m always a better person afterwards Steph. xxx
Amen! Thank you, Laurie.
thank you for reading Traci – we need each other for certain!
If the person was your frneid, they would probably be happy to hear from you. It would be a pleasant surprise to reconnect.If they don’t reply, it could be the wrong email address or an email address that they no longer use.I use it every day.
Just grateful that you *do* write True Stories, Laurie. Yes, yes, yes. I have to print this one out… 😉
Dar – thank you. Let’s get together in Boulder next time I’m there (Ruby is at CU now). We’ll go on a walk and tell more true stories together. Love and thanks! xxx
You are inspiring, Laurie. Thank you for your commitment to living and writing your True Stories. There is enough “deja poo” (same old shit) chatter in the world already. You may have just provided the encouraging nudge I needed to get me writing more.
Jim , thank you for “deja poo.” Aren’t we amazing? Just re-cycling the same stuff over and over. Of course we’re so sad inside. We, including me, distract ourselves with so much noise. I don’t know about you, but having tipped the scales into my 50’s now, I’m so aware of of all the time I wasted in unproductive thoughts and behaviors. There’s no time to lose. I know I’ll waste more of it in the future – it practically can’t be helped – but I’ll try to remember that connections are vital – wherever I can find them. Always good to connect with you!
I agree with every point you have made here. My philosophy completely. We must be kindred spirits. I was shown by a spiritual master, a visual mystic, back in the ’80s that I am a truth writer. This is the foundation of my writing — truth — and what I always strive to adhere to, even in my fiction writing.
Now I am going to email you.
nice to hear from you!
You are a walking talking true story! I love that we can drop in to what’s real in seconds. No foreplay… right to the meat! It’s refreshing, sometimes scary and always enlivening. Here’s to the truth! Love – M
no foreplay! love it! xxx
You are so awesome and I am so happy to have found this blog!
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