Remembering the power of the narrative – bearing witness to the stories of others.

Marilyn R. Gardner

It is the function of Art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.~ Anais Nin

While living internationally, we rarely went a day without having a story to tell that demonstrated our clumsy negotiations in a country where we were guests. Whether it was wrong translations on birth certificates, getting completely lost in a city of millions, or using the wrong word when communicating, there was always a story. At parties a game favorite was Two Truths and a Lie. While many in the United States may have played this, the responses are totally different when you live overseas. Responses such as “My maid of honor was a Nigerian gentleman”I had dinner with Yasser Arafat’s brother” “My appendix were taken…

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4 thoughts on “

  1. Marilyn, “STORYING” is an important method of communicating and retaining knowledge among millions who can neither read nor write. It is hard to believe but there are pockets of people in the world whose language is unwritten. STORYING keeps their history alive. You have aptly described this valuable tool in your title “The Power of the Narrative.”


  2. I have encountered this phenomena too… people think they have no stories, or don’t see the humor in every day events. I think your idea of relating it to relationships is very important, as well as the narratability of stories–that is, fitting into a community in which the story can be narrated by others. The church affords that salient point for me: my own narratability outside of which my own ‘story’ makes no sense.


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