Perhaps life would be easier if people were like books.
I guess, in a way, we kind of are. We all have starts and ends. An ultimate start, an ultimate end, and beginnings and endings of each chapter of our lives. Somehow, all of the chapters and various settings and characters are intertwined to form who we are – our story to the world.
Books are usually only told from one perspective – that of the author. Even if the narrator is a character, one has to wonder what aspects of the narrator’s personality are derived from those of the author. The author’s job is to portray the story in their mind the most effectively they can – through words. I say effectively, not to say that every detail must make absolute sense, but that the message they are pursuing to communicate is given in the right context because ultimately, many different types of people will be observing their story, criticizing it from their own perspective, maybe in the brilliance that it was meant to be, maybe not.
Even, as readers, when we borrow a book from its possessor, we can read it and we can see folds on the corners of pages where they left off. We can wonder what they were thinking when they read parts of a story – a story that may have resonated in their thoughts, or maybe they read while their thoughts were elsewhere and the words were never processed. We are behind them, reading what they have already experienced, and experiencing it in different ways. That’s how life happens, isn’t it? Different ages, different events, different relationships. Someone has always experienced the “same thing,” but what really matters is the perspective of the subject in the experience. We could be behind them, yet ahead of someone else. We are reading stories already read by many, and never read by many. We’re all in transience.
It’s a beautiful thing, the way life relates to a book. Even after a story is finished being read…being indulged, being taken on as someone’s own…we don’t forget. If you’re anything like me, I go through what I call a book hangover. I feel as if I’ve lost new friends, a new life, a new beginning. I suppose that’s how it feels when someone dies.
I’ve never had anyone close to me die, though. I can only infer, from the many stories of others. I’m still in the “behind.” Maybe only one day, when I get to step into the author’s shoes, will I experience, and pass on my stories to the next readers, learning from the life I live.
For now, I’ll spend my time preparing for the un-preparable, soaking up all I can from stories of the unknown. But it doesn’t matter, because the best kinds of authors are the ones who tell their own stories, who have a story worth telling – from experiencing the world they live in, intertwining stories that touched their heart strings and stories from their own heart.