Stories

My favorite opening line from a Ray Carver short story reads, “I’ve seen some things.” Winter weary, in mid-February: I’ve heard some things.

A colleague shares a nearly-unbelievable story of her marriage breakup, and I think, madness, madness. The story is so unreal, it’s plausible to me. Kierkegaard wrote, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Every morning, every evening, the light lingers just a little longer, reminds us that spring is buried deep but not impossibly buried, that forwards is always the thrust of life.  Smartphones and the internet notwithstanding, the human story in many ways repeats its endless variations of the same simple story, over and over. We’re sentient beings on a changing planet. Snow trickles into tulips. Spring light inevitably emerges.

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

5 comments

  1. This was very satisfying to read. You have such a way with words. I think many of us have survived unbelievable stories. “…the human story in many ways repeats its endless variations of the same simple story, over and over..” For some reason (maybe the photo along with your writing?), these words of yours reminded me of the great Swedish film “Under the Sun” which begins with a quotation from Ecclesiastes : “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

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