an art of perspective

Cross that tunnel ...
... so that you learn ...
... and we have something to watch.
(Copyright): Spirited Away (2001) - Ghibli Studio

You can have all the money of the world, all the possessions, all the luxury, all the slaves, all the time, all the space, all the glory, admiration, esteem - but it means nothing if you don't have ... love? No. Not again that one. Stories honey. Stories.

I might have enriched the English dictionary with a new word: Storylessness. I guess thousands of movies I have seen in my younger life must have caused some damage at the end: A habit of seeing through multiple perspectives, inability to take sides, "too much" empathy (ironically complemented with overdeveloped sense of black humor, irony, sarcasm, detachment, bigger picture) ... and the obsession with (sometimes envy for, I admit) other people's stories.

Listening to friends who traveled long before I could afford it, browsing through thousands of exotic pictures in magazines and on the Internet - I filtered and also projected the possible stories, that were vaguely associated with destinations, places and sights. Trying to walk in their footsteps, often not only their stories did not repeat, none have happened at all. The gap, the void, the missing out - of something I expected to happen automatically when I'd set a foot out of home, something I assumed I was entitled to - became sort of a travel-story of my own.

So imagine... I stand in front of the wonder of the world. It should be a lifetime experience. Many human beings dream of being here. It's that famous place! History happened here. This place shaped the myths and social evolution of mankind. And I feel nothing. Me. The stone. No connection. I recollect stories of my friends - and envy. I dream of what could have happened - and inhale heavy humid cold bitter sadness.

In my imagined world, based on the other people’s story-telling: You come to a unknown town. An accident happens and you lose tight grips on how events unfold. You are taken by the story. You meet people, they invite you, host you, show you around, take you to places you would not find in Lonely Planet. An exchange of ideas, emotions, trust happens. Adventure story. Love story. Erotic story. Being hijacked by life, being lead, being shaped. Scars. Memories. Feeling of "I was there. I attended that. I know those people." Pride, belonging, completeness, memories, nostalgia.

That discrepancy between the dreams of adventures and the reality where nothing happens (just us dreaming) - feels like inhaling distilled essence of crying, but often with no embarrassing tears.

Sometimes I wonder - do people adjust and story-fy their adventures? A bit of colors, to make it sound pretty. Sometimes I try this as well - and others may believe me - but still I do not.

Terry Pratchett once wrote that the stories are little beasts that fly around and search for a victim that they stick to and force him to act according to their will - they hijack him into the story. I must have gotten something wrong, since I am trying to chase those bitches for a lifetime, but they escape like butterflies, flies, lies ... they are just not there when I jump amidst them.

Pratchett's obnoxious stories ...
(Copyright): Spirited Away (2001) - Ghibli Studio

... an unexpected reflection in ...
(Copyright): Spirited Away (2001) - Ghibli Studio

... Miyazaki's Spirited Away.
(Copyright): Spirited Away (2001) - Ghibli Studio

It amazes me how bizarrely the story-hunt has become my life-long obsession. Most of my decisions, endeavors, dares happened with a possibility of story in mind. Extensive traveling – so much time, money, miles, expectations, disappointments. Even if I know that stories and happiness are like cats – they cannot be chased, they must come to you – my frustrated mind cannot relax and allow it to happen instead of constantly trying to make it happen.

I recognize story as a quality. Especially in contrast with what the dating apps offer: Comparing the parametric categorized data, now and then I find a perfect match. I meet him in person later ... and ... I feel nothing. I feel like we've skipped something. The whole juicy drama of a timid/cheeky/daring eye-play, tantalizing uncertainty, increased heart-beat, sophisticated flirting, brains overheating on trying to approach each-other, luck, excitement of breaking the ices, first smile, slow mutual discovery that follows, finding words, negotiating between dreams, bathing in each-other's non-verbal impressions. The beginning of a spiral that unwinds, all the other steps and stops naturally unfolding in the course of the storyline. Some tell me this is a "romantic perspective" or even "female perspective". That would flatter my in-between-er "two-spirit" self-image, though I do no appropriate this point of view. I find it fundamental. So many people execute dates, execute relationship, execute sex. For me - that’s unsatisfying, a wase of the opportunity of living the Life.

I crave for the
story of meeting, story of mutual discovery, story of developing feelings, story of sharing time together, story of walking part of life together, story of sex...
That "male" practical "let’s do it" and "let’s get it done with" does not really excite me.

People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it’s the other way around.
Stories exist independently of their players. If you know that, the knowledge is power.
Stories, great flapping ribbons of shaped space-time, have been blowing and uncoiling around the universe since the beginning of time. And they have evolved. The weakest have died and the strongest have survived and they have grown fat on the retelling... stories, twisting and blowing through the darkness.
And their very existence overlays a faint but insistent pattern on the chaos that is history. Stories etch grooves deep enough for people to follow in the same way that water follows certain paths down a mountainside. And every time fresh actors tread the path of the story, the groove runs deeper.
This is called the theory of narrative causality, and it means that a story, once started, takes a shape. It picks up all the vibrations of all the other workings of that story that have ever been.
This is why history keeps repeating all the time.
So a thousand heroes have stolen fire from the gods. A thousand wolves have eaten grandmothers. A thousand princesses have been kissed. A million unknowing actors have moved, unknowing, through the pathways of story.
It is now impossible for the third and youngest son of any king, if he should embark on a quest which has so far claimed his older brothers, not to succeed.
Stories don’t care who takes part in them. All that matters is that the story gets told, that the story repeats. Or, if you prefer to think of it like this: stories are a parasitical life form, warping lives in the service only of the story itself.

- Terry Pratchett: Witches Abroad