"I'm lying, yes, but why do you force me to give a linear explanation; linear explanations are almost always lies."

"The stars are brilliant at this time of night and I wander these streets like a ritual I don't dare to break for darling, the times are quite glorious. I left him by the water's edge, still waving long after the ship was gone and if someone would have screamed my name I wouldn't have heard for I've said goodbye so many times in my short life that farewells are a muscular task and I've taught them well. There's a place by the side of the railway near the lake where I grew up and I used to go there to burry things and start anew. I used to go there to say goodbye. I was young and did not know many people but I had hidden things inside that I never dared to show and in silence I tried to kill them, one way or the other, leaving sin on my body scrubbing tears off with salt and I built my rituals in farewells. Endings I still cling to. So I go to the ocean to say goodbye. He left that morning, the last words still echoing in my head and though he said he'd come back one day I know a broken promise from a right one for I have used them myself and there is no coming back. Minds like ours are can't be tamed and the price for freedom is the price we pay. I turned away from the ocean as not to fall for its plea for it used to seduce and consume me and there was this one night a few years back and I was not yet accustomed to farewells and just like now I stood waving long after the ship was gone. But I was younger then and easily fooled and the ocean was deep and dark and blue and I took my shoes off to let the water freeze my bones. I waded until I could no longer walk and it was too cold to swim but still I kept on walking at the bottom of the sea for I could not tell the difference between the ocean and the lack of someone I loved and I had not yet learned how the task of moving on is as necessary as survival. Then days passed by and I spent them with my work and now I'm writing letters I will never dare to send. But there is this one day every year or so when the burden gets too heavy and I collect my belongings I no longer need and make my way to the ocean to burn and drown and start anew and it is quite wonderful, setting fire to my chains and flames on written words and I stand there, starring deep into the heat until they're all gone. Nothing left to hold me back. You kissed me that morning as if you'd never done it before and never would again and now I write another letter that I will never dare to send, collecting memories of loss like chains wrapped around my veins, and if you see a fire from the shore tonight it's my chains going up in flames. The time of moon i quite glorious. We could have been so glorious." - Charlotte Eriksson

"Christianity tells a big story. It allows us to see our own story in a new way."

"Truth for anyone is a very complex thing. For a writer, what you leave out says as much as those things you include. What lies beyond the margin of the text? The photographer frames the shot; writers frame their world. Mrs Winterson objected to what I had put in, but it seemed to me that what I had left out was the story's silent twin. There are so many things that we can't say, because they are too painful. We hope that the things we can say will soothe the rest, or appease it in some way. Stories are compensatory. The world is unfair, unjust, unknowable, out of control. When we tell a story we exercise control, but in such a way as to leave a gap, an opening. It is a version, but never the final one. And perhaps we hope that the silences will be heard by someone else, and the story can continue, can be retold. When we write we offer the silence as much as the story. Words are the part of silence that can be spoken. Mrs Winterson would have preferred it if I had been silent. Do you remember the story of Philomel who is raped and then has her tongue ripped out by the rapist so that she can never tell? I believe in fiction and the power of stories because that way we speak in tongues. We are not silenced. All of us, when in deep trauma, find we hesitate, we stammer; there are long pauses in our speech. The thing is stuck. We get our language back through the language of others. We can turn to the poem. We can open the book. Somebody has been there for us and deep-dived the words. I needed words because unhappy families are conspiracies of silence. The one who breaks the silence is never forgiven. He or she has to learn to forgive him or herself." ― Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

"A well-thought-out story doesn't need to resemble real life. Life itself tries with all its might to resemble a well-crafted story." ― Isaac Babel

"In the end I began to understand. There is such a thing as absolute power over narrative. Those who secure this privilege for themselves can arrange stories about others pretty much where, and as, they like. Just as in corrupt, totalitarian regimes, those who exercise power over others can do anything." ― Chinua Achebe, Home and Exile

Anecdotes came with his DNA

"When I say "narrative", I do not mean simply the plot, I mean considerably more. Plots and their shapes--the bare outlines of stories--were something I know J.R.R. Tolkien himself was interested in. When I was an undergraduate, I went to a course of lectures he gave on the subject--at least, I think that was the subject, because Tolkien was all but inaudible. He evidently hated lecturing, and I suspect he also hated giving his thoughts away." ― Diana Wynne Jones, Reflections: On the Magic of Writing

"Narratives are the primary way in which we make sense of our lives, as opposed to, for example schema,cognition, beliefs, constructs. Definition of narrative include the important element of giving meaning to events and experiences over time by connecting them as a developing, continuing story." ― Jacqui Stedmon

"There will always be reservations, things one must leave out, events one can't explain without handing over a full map of one's life, unfolding it, making clear that all the lines and contours stand for long days and nights when things were bad or good, or when things were too small to be described at all: when things just were. This is a life." ― Colm Tóibín, The South

"By calling into question the very ideal of a universal, autonomous reason (which was, in the Enlightenment, the basis for rejecting religious thought) and further demonstrating that all knowledge is grounded in narrative or myth, Lyotard relativizes (secular) philosophy's claim to autonomy and so grants the legitimacy of a philosophy that grounds itself in Christian faith. Previously such a distinctly Christian philosophy would have been exiled from the 'pure' arena of philosophy because of its 'infection' with bias and prejudice. Lyotard's critique, however, demonstrates that no philosophy - indeed, no knowledge - is untainted by prejudice or faith commitments. In this way the playing field is leveled, and new opportunities to voice a Christian philosophy are created. Thus Lyotard's postmodern critique of metanarratives, rather than being a formidable foe of Christian faith and thought, can in fact be enlisted as an ally in the construction of a Christian philosophy." ― James K.A. Smith, Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church

"Stories were heirlooms in these parts." ― Robert Kurson, Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship

"Very young children love and demand stories, and can understand complex matters presented as stories, when their powers of comprehending general concepts, paradigms, are almost nonexistent." ― Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales

"You can't love someone without imaginative sympathy, without beginning to see the world from another point of view. You can't be a good lover, a good artist or a good politician without this capacity (you can get away with it, but that's not what I mean). Show me the tyrants who have been great lovers." - Julian Barnes, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters

"There are three points about stories: if told, they like to be heard; if heard, they like to be taken in; and if taken in, they like to be told." ― Ciaran Carson, Fishing for Amber

"During the second half of the twentieth century, cross-fertilization among the disciplines of history, literature, sociology, and psychology led to scholarly awareness that historical accounts are not direct representations of actual events; they are, instead, interpretations of the meaning of events and are thus impacted by authorial bias, cultural assumptions, and linguistic frameworks. Historical accounts are conveyed through structures of stories, or in other words through the medium of narrative. This conceptual shift calls into question the assumption that histories recount factual descriptions of real events while stories narrate the literary artifice of imagine events." ― Miranda Wilcox, Standing Apart: Mormon Historical Consciousness and the Concept of Apostasy

Stories matter

"The baby explodes into an unknown world that is only knowable through some kind of a story - of course that is how we all live, it's the narrative of our lives, but adoption drops you into the story after it has started. It's like reading a book with the first few pages missing. It's like arriving after curtain up. The feeling that something is missing never, ever leaves you - and it can't, and it shouldn't, because something IS missing. That isn't of its nature negative. The missing part, the missing past, can be an opening, not a void. It can be an entry as well as an exit. It is the fossil record, the imprint of another life, and although you can never have that life, your fingers trace the space where it might have been, and your fingers learn a kind of Braille." ― Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

"The ability to see our lives as stories and share those stories with others is at the core of what it means to be human. We use stories to order and make sense of our lives, to define who we are, even to construct our realities: this happened, then this happened, then this. I was, I am, I will be. We recount our dreams, narrate our days and organize our memories into stories we tell others and ourselves. As natural-born storytellers, we respond to others' stories because they are deeply, intimately familiar." - John Capecci and Timothy Cage

"We want our children to know and believe the one good story. Every other story is a copy or shadow of this one. Some copies of it are quite good and shout the Truth. Others see only the faintest whisper of it, or, in its absence remind us of the Truth. We want our kids to know the one good story so well that when they see Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Frodo, Anne of Green Gables, Arielle, or Sleeping Beauty, they can recognize the strands of Truth and deception in them. Saturating our children in the one good story will enable them to discern Truth and error as it comes to them from the world." ― Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus

"Tell me a story."

"Any story told is a lie cunningly told to hide the real world ." ― Catherynne M. Valente, Radiance

"Whenever science attempts to legitimate itself, it is no longer scientific but narrative, appealing to an orienting myth that is not susceptible to scientific legitimation." ― James K.A. Smith, Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church

"I'd never had a mind for math. ... It was a logic that made little sense to me. In my perception, the world wasn't a graph or a formula or an equation. It was a story." ― Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

"The most powerful words in English are, "Tell me a story." ― Pat Conroy, My Reading Life

"That thing we call a place is the intersection of many changing forces passing through, whirling around, mixing, dissolving, and exploding in a fixed location. To write about a place is to acknowledge that phenomena often treated separately—ecology, democracy, culture, storytelling, urban design, individual life histories and collective endeavors—coexist. They coexist geographically, spatially, in place, and to understand a place is to engage with braided narratives and sue generous explorations." ― Rebecca Solnit, The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness

"There's no way to really preserve a person when they've gone and that's because whatever you write down it's not the truth, it's just a story. Stories are all we're ever left with in our head or on paper: clever narratives put together from selected facts, legends, well edited tall tales with us in the starring roles" ― Steven Hall, The Raw Shark Texts

"As the language areas of the left hemisphere enter their sensitive period during the middle of the second year of life, grammatical language in the left integrates with the interpersonal and prosodic elements of communication already well developed in the right. As the cortical language centers mature, words are joined together to make sentences and can be used to express increasingly complex ideas flavored with emotion. As the frontal cortex continues to expand and connect with more neural networks, memory improves and a sense of time slowly emerges and autobiographical memory begins to connect the self with places and events, within and across time. The emerging narratives begin to organize the nascent sense of self and become the bedrock of our sense of self in interpersonal and physical space" ― Louis Cozolino, The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social Brain

"Discovering an inner history requires listening – and often not to the first story told."

"The power of music, narrative and drama is of the greatest practical and theoretical importance. One may see this even in the case of idiots, with IQs below 20 and the extremest motor incompetence and bewilderment. Their uncouth movements may disappear in a moment with music and dancing—suddenly, with music, they know how to move. We see how the retarded, unable to perform fairly simple tasks involving perhaps four or five movements or procedures in sequence, can do these perfectly if they work to music—the sequence of movements they cannot hold as schemes being perfectly holdable as music, i.e. embedded in music. The same may be seen, very dramatically, in patients with severe frontal lobe damage and apraxia—an inability to do things, to retain the simplest motor sequences and programmes, even to walk, despite perfectly preserved intelligence in all other ways. This procedural defect, or motor idiocy, as one might call it, which completely defeats any ordinary system of rehabilitative instruction, vanishes at once if music is the instructor. All this, no doubt, is the rationale, or one of the rationales, of work songs." ― Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales

"Truth for anyone is a very complex thing. For a writer, what you leave out says as much as those things you include. What lies beyond the margin of the text? The photographer frames the shot; writers frame their world." ― Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

"What monster sleeps in the deep of your story? You need a monster. Without a monster there is no story." ― Billy Marshall

"Reading stories forces us to exercise our empathy and imagination muscles, and that helps us conceive what the Bible depicts or demands, helps us connect with others, helps us illustrate what the text teaches, and helps us apply the text's truths." ― James M. Hamilton