This is a Paragraph

The story continues after this. It’s not the end.

The paragraph stops suddenly, and from its vantage point, there is a deep valley and emptiness beyond. Questions are asked, but not answered. Darkness.

Naturally, the characters are scared. They don’t know what’s beyond this or if they’ll survive. This is a part of the story, of course, but the characters don’t understand this. All they know is the paragraph, which is the now. They forgot that before this one, there were other paragraphs where they breached the gap and arrived safely on the other side.

From the point of view of the character, every sudden stop or failure in every story feels like it could be the end. But it’s a story, so of course it feels that way. Without the unexpected, it would be boring.

But there is only one ending in a story. Very likely, this is not it. It’s probably just a paragraph– and all you need is a new vantage point.

Become the reader. You’ll see this.





7 responses to “This is a Paragraph”

  1. Tamsen McMahon Avatar

    You have such a fascinating relationship with time.

    I love this concept–that a single data point does not a trend make. That, at any moment, what you’re experiencing is both a product of, and yet distinct from, all that’s come before it, just as what’s about to come is a product of right now, and yet also distinct.

    It’s easier, of course, to think that where we are is somehow a product of destiny, and that what’s about to come is fate. Admitting that we’re the ones who draw the maps, that set the course…well, that would make us responsible for who and what we are. As much as many of us say we want to be in control, so very few of us actually are willing to be so.

  2. Jean Avatar

    You just gave me a great idea for a blog post about Shakespeare and time.

  3. Colleen Clifford Avatar

    Such a beautifully simple metaphor for life. 🙂

    Thanks for putting it in just that perspective.

  4. Colleen Clifford Avatar

    Such a beautifully simple metaphor for life. Thank you for putting it in just such a perspective.

  5. Roberto Avatar

    This certainly is a key that can open many doors, but hold on a minute. Becoming the reader is a slippery slope; potentially they become just another character in a different story, or maybe a different character in the same story. Then the reader grows out of the flat existence of the character until the dimensions change and the reader becomes a character yet again. Over and over. Are the ruins that circular?

    How does one become a writer?

  6. Alexandra Avatar

    Lately, I like to read this aloud at the end of a yoga class. The pace and ideas melting into the last few moments of just letting it all sink in, everyone laying on their backs, maybe listening (and I think it surprises people, which is nice).

    Anyway, I’ve had a few people tell me that they have trouble finding it online. And I always mention that it’s Julien wih an “e”! Hope it’s ok to try to make it easier for them by adding this comment: this is that story she read to you at Yoga to the People that class.

    Thanks 🙂

  7. Julien Avatar

    Amazing. Alexandra, that makes me really happy. Use it anytime you like. Cheers.

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