a story stands in

“A story stands in for everything that cannot be explained and, though there are many stories, there’s really only one and we can tell the difference because the many stories have a beginning and an end, but the one story doesn’t work like that.  Ryvold used to say that stories are really about time.  They tell us that once, in a place that existed before we were born, something occurred – and we like to hear about that, because we know already that the story is over.  We know that we are living in the happily ever after, which means that nothing will happen again – and this is the key to a happy life.  To live in the ever after of the present moment: no past, no future.”

from A Summer of Drowning by John Burnside

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