Saturday, July 05, 2008

We are the stories we tell

>"...More importantly, the speculation above provides a sense (not incompatible, for example, with some neuroscientists' theories or even with Hamlet's metaphorical utterance "Within the book and volume of my brain") in which stories become a physical part of us. They become encoded somehow into fragments of
mental routines capable of generating them at will, and, if integrated into our conceptual and emotional maps of the world, they change us forever. We are the stories we tell."
-"Once Upon a Number:The Hidden Mathematical Logoc of Stories" by John Allen Paulos, p.172, emphasis mine...chapter here

>"We become the stories we tell about ourselves."
-Michael Cunningham, A Home at the End of the World).

On light of the above, I'd love to have Mike Rinaldi
..and other Christian/filmmakers/singers/storytellers..
comment on the amazing phenomenon in our day of filmmakers/singers/storytellers
who are not officially Christian
telling great stories...and God-haunted stories.

Some seem to inevitably be becoming the stories/Story they tell.

"Tell better stories" (Motto on Pete Gall's website)

  • "Jesus never opened his mouth without telling a story" (Matt 13:34-35)
  • "Become what you already are." (Philippians 3:16)


  1. Some people choose to tell stories: filmmakers, novelists, songwriters, politicians, etc. But storytelling is not just for vocation, occupation, or hobby. It is easy to overlook the fact that storytelling is intrinsic to human existance and the most fundamental thing that we do. What happens after you die? Some of your family, friends, and enemies will gather around after they've buried you and talk about you. Your legacy. The story you told with your life. And who you are to the world is based on what? Everything you've said in words and deeds. Conversation and action, deliberate or not, comprise your life story.

    Not only does every person tell his/her own story, but we tell part of God's story whether we even believe it or not. Furthermore, God is telling a story. He is fundamentally an artist. He is a creator, a sculptor (how He made Eve), a painter, a musician, an electrician (He wired your brain!), and a host of other things including storyteller. God's story is reflected in His creation, knowingly and unknowingly to the creatures. This is scratching the surface of how God's story is told through the arts by believers and unbelievers alike... and not just the arts, but in our lives.

  2. I love this notion of the story being such a powerful communicative device. I try to use that in my own work, finding the fingerprint of God amidst the muck and mire of human drollery. The good news is that God still wishes to be involved with us, and very often is both subtly and on rare occasions overtly intervening. I think sometimes people are so stuck on a certain framework of reference for him - that he has to work within a set of proscribed guidelines that someone has roped off - that they often miss finding God in the unexpected, the surprising, the absolutely mystifying.

  3. amazing comments, guys.

    i hope you know each other..

    both brilliant filmdudes.


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!