Fact and fiction
And in between
This poem addresses both the role that storytelling plays in the narratives of our lives and the need to move beyond fiction to incarnate into our real lives such truths as stories may impart. Storytelling through literature and theater serves more than mere entertainment. Storytelling can model character studies, cautionary tales without the real life tragedies, and heroics of all types without constant personal risk. The emotional catharsis of vicariously experiencing the many and varied lives of others, biographical or mythological, can inform our own exploration of our highest ideals and darkest impulses. Still, storytelling, even at its best, is no substitute for living. At some point, we need to author and act out our own narrative on this stage we call earth. And life has all the complications of live theater — and more! There are no dress rehearsals for life; this is it. Life does not offer any assurance of a Hollywood ending, and you can’t read ahead in a script to nuance your motivation. In life, tragedies are real and heroics are risky. Of course, such a precarious situation offers a much more spellbinding way of living than recounting even the best “studiously massaged” story. May you cast yourself into the lead role in your life, and may your story be original and lively enough to bear repeating.