Everyone is not a storyteller, some say, but everyone actually is. And they tell the most wonderful stories.
They tell you stories of a glorious struggle and a wonderful victory. They speak of the white rabbits they followed and the chances they took. They speak of the wastelands they dared and the summits they scaled. They speak of the Promised Land they found. They tell you how everyone lied about the rainbow, and describe the day they reached its end. They speak of the pot of gold at the rainbow’s end and they mention in passing, how they own it now. They talk about every hurdle that they crossed. They point out that they did it in style. They speak of every threat they played down and the fears they have left behind. They speak about all that they have vanquished, and all that they have let go in generosity. They speak about love. They speak about togetherness. They speak about the brilliance of those whom they have worshipped, and they look down upon the ones they consider lacking. They talk of happiness. The happiness that embodies their every move. The happiness that overflows from their glowing faces, and bright smiles, and the happiness that feeds the joy of a celebration. They speak of all this. They speak like they are laying their lives out bare.
But they are not.
They don’t tell you how the glory of a struggle doesn’t describe the struggle itself. They do not speak of all the white rabbits that went past them, as they stood there uncertain, unsure, insecure and fearful. They do not speak of all their gambles that led to failure. They don’t tell you how they half-drowned in swamps of the wastelands. They have no account of the blood and sweat that spilled and of the bones that broke as they searched their promised land. They don’t speak about the hurdles that caught their legs, and the ones they crossed only by luck. They don’t speak of the time when they stood rooted to the spot, frozen like deer in headlights, clueless, until help came along. They don’t speak of what they still fear. They don’t speak of all that was taken from them, and all that they snatched cruelly. They don’t speak of hatred. They don’t speak of war. They don’t speak of the leaders who failed them and led them astray and the ones they are afraid to look up to. They don’t talk of sadness. The sadness that always lurks, somewhere, behind the mask. The sadness that catches up to them when they are not telling stories. The sadness that embodied every loss they don’t speak about, and the sadness that feeds their hatred, derision and divide. They hide all this. They abstract the truth.
You realized this when you went on your own journey and fought your own demons. You realized this when you locked away the ones you couldn’t fight. You realized this when you crossed your sea and scaled your mountain. You realized this when you looked at the horizon, thoughtfully and couldn’t help but sigh. You realized it when you waited for the rush of victory to come, but it never did, and the hole it left behind was filled by an annoying, lingering question – ‘What now?’ You realized it when you discovered that you had no answer. You realized this on the day you told someone your story for the first time. You realized that mankind has a fundamental, inescapable problem.
It is that people tell stories.