Susan diRende: “Story”







Story was the first fire, the first wheel, the first lever. That Greek guy, Archimedes, saying he could move the world with a lever and a place to stand. He didn’t have either but he told the story and that moved the world. Was his story the real lever?

There are no gods without story. Creation doesn’t matter despite providing the raw materials. Matter doesn’t decide what matters. Cold space, empty and meaningless. Suns, dense and hot and meaningless. Living creatures playing Darwinian jungle games don’t have any innate meaning beyond the rapturous fact of their existence. Until story lays a path, set laws, gives people a purpose beyond survival.

The most important stories become maps for our mind to navigate by. When a story of violence leaves the teller’s lips and enters the minds of others, the world burns. And when stories provide us with the reliable map for living well, the world prospers.

Story turns experience into identity. Feelings into fate. Story turns facts and figures into history. History turns people into stories, so story is also the first sin, the first evil. But that’s a story too.

Story is what makes us human.



About the Author: Author/artist Susan diRende travels the world with no fixed abode. She has won awards for her writing including the 2017 Special Citation for Excellence by the Philip K Dick Awards. Most recently, she has had pieces published in The Dewdrop, the Pine Hills Review,  and Cascadia Subduction Zone.


Image Credit: Susan diRende “Pareidolia #17” (22 x 28 inches ink on paper)

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