“Other people have tried to get me to tell them about my first lives, but I have always kept the terrible stories locked inside my library. I realize we have become brothers in this, and I hope it doesn’t weigh you down. I’m not trying to give you anything you’ll have to carry around for the rest of your life, but that’s what happens to us after all, isn’t it? We carry story upon story upon story.
We carry our stories because we survive, and survival is ultimately the most selfish thing we do. It is the opposite of extinction, after all.”
I love this idea of a story being a physical thing that we can either carry ourselves or hand over to another person. How many times have we shared something weighing heavily upon our minds, some past experience or hurt or embarrassment, simply for the sake of unburdening ourselves? In The Alex Crow Smith explores the inverse side of this act, the way in which the person receiving the story must then carry it with them forever, as well, which is something I think few people actually stop to consider when sharing some skeleton from the deepest recesses of their own inner library.
Image originally from the cover of Scottish Libraries, used under creative commons.