Narratives.

September 2, 2010 at 5:01 am (stories) (, , , )

Both of these stories are true. Even if they are not literally true accounts of events that transpired, they both express truth.
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Story one.

There once was a man, and in his house he threw a party. His friends came over, and times were good. Some of the neighbors nearby had become friends, and came to the party. Others came, and went, and the party rocked on and good times were had. There was the occasional awkward situation, vomiting in the planter or stumbling home drunk, but the music was kicking, the beer was cold, and good times were had.

And then a whole group of new people came by, because they saw the party from the street.

“Hey, can we join?” they asked. “It looks like fun.”

And the host replied, “Sure! More people’s more party!”

And so they came, and joined the party. Some of the older guests were making out in back rooms, or passed out under the couch, and in the front room, at the party proper, the new guests came to outnumber the old, and then they came with questions.

“We see you like beer! Cool. Hey, can we drink your beer? We’ve got a box of wine coolers, you can have it to replace the beer.”
“And hey, we don’t like techno. Can we play our jazz cds, instead? And, we’d like to turn it down so we can have a proper conversation.”
“It’s kind of chilly in here, we’re all cold. Can we turn up the thermostat?”

And the host, and those who had been at this party since it started, began to grow bitter. Who were these people who had come to this party? And why, when they wanted to change so much of it, did they stay in the house they had been invited to, that they chose to come, instead of finding their own?
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Story two.

Once there was a mural on the wall. This was the ongoing work of many artists, and it reflected them all. The mural was a living thing, and it was their soul, telling a tale of the past while also being a product of the present and growing towards the future. It was created by a group – it was them, and they were it -, and over time, the group had grown. The more brightly colorful and visible parts of the mural attracted many people who marveled at it, and many who wanted to join the artists creating it.

Many artists had joined before, and have contributed to this project. Some had grown the greater image and helped to shape what it was, others took their colors and moved somewhere else in time, others sort of fit in but never really became artists.

Everyone loved the mural.

Those who were the newest, however, began to feel as if those who had been drawing since the beginning, the old guard, was harrumphing and standing with a sheet of glass. The new artists felt that what they had seen that called them over was not what had been painted. They also felt as if they had been invited to a group project, only to discover that the project was at an end. They felt the Old Guard, even if they were some good people, people they could like, were… happy with the mural. And defensive of it.

They felt that that the whole image was not shown and that the visible parts told a completely different story, one they did not like, and felt lied to when the promise and beauty that they had seen seemed to be an illusion. They felt excluded, that the Old Guard was refusing to let the mural grow anymore, to change to incorporate their voices and their paints.

Why had they been invited, had they been welcomed, to this collaboration that did not want to add their voices to the choir and their paints to the wall?
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Both of these stories are true … and both of these stories tell the true history of the same incident.

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