Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Where nothing else may go . . . Tim O'Brien

Image courtesy of the United States Military

These quotes from Tim O'Brien's book, The Things They Carried really stood out to me. I've found healing in writing and I know many, many others have too.

"I did not look on my work [writing] as therapy, and still don't. Yet when I received Norman Bowker's letter, it occurred to me that the act of writing had led me through a swirl of memories that might otherwise have ended in paralysis or worse. By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths. You make up others. You start sometimes with an incident that truly happened, like the night in the s*** field, and you carry it forward by inventing incidents that did not in fact occur but that nonetheless help to clarify and explain."

"What stories can do, I guess, is make things present. I can look at things I never looked at. I can attach faces to grief and love and pity and God. I can be brave. I can make myself feel again."

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