Every fall I choose a theme for the year. It’s my “real” new year’s ritual. It’s the time that I ask, how will this year be different from last? What will I not tolerate again? What will I enthusiastically add? What will be hard but I’ll do it anyway? What will I not change at all because I love it as is? Of course these questions are assuming that I have an inkling of control over how my life will proceed. ; )
Nature doesn’t have a frontal lobe. Nature doesn’t pontificate its design and move the pieces around. It just rumbles through its job and lets the consequences fall. Fall: To fall into fall. I wonder if the instrument of change finds us best when we are not thinking at all? Listening to nature’s brain and taking note.
And this is why this fall’s theme, Change is so exciting to me. To ask the questions of how any life will change over the course of a year is fun, yes. To imagine and want and design how it could be. Yes. And then sit down and read a story. Come out the other side of it altered, humbled by the unexpected details that not only changed the main character but somehow moved some molecules around in your world view. Real change seems to be laughing at my questions. If change were a Greek God it would throw me a dinosaur to ride into the next chapter of my life.
We are very, very excited to read the many submissions with ‘change’ at the core of each story and to be altered in the process. In the meantime, here are a few stories I can’t forget that changed me.
Stories of note:
The eery uprising where reality and relationship dance and yet counteract one another in Annie Proulx’s “Half Skinned Steer.”
“Running with Scissors.” A novel and film. My take-aways? Change is relative. There is no normal to deviate from. Nature in full force. Love it.
“The Search Engine.” Sherman Alexie’s book of stories, Ten Little Indians. A beautiful story about an intellectually hungry and passionate college girl in search of a missing Native American poet. The element of surprise for me was contained in the bleak complexities of the examined life. Yet all the stories in this book moved me deeply and caused me to read it again and again.
What are some of your thoughts on stories that you can’t forget that changed you?
And please let us know how our writers stories in November impact you. Comments are like that first cup of coffee – so good and ‘more please’!
Niya Christine, Founder & Publisher CR Stories Journal