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By Hudson Gardner • Issue #52 • View online

Sitka Spruce
Sitka Spruce
Elk Meadow
Elk Meadow
It began raining
It began raining
The rain only improved the flavor of the tea
The rain only improved the flavor of the tea
We all have personal stories about where we’ve come from,
what we’ve done
where we are going—
and these make up who we are.
But: what would there be if 
there were no stories?
I want to know this.

Everything is a story, something created
and given meaning and purpose to
through a culture.
We still tell stories
though we may not think of them as stories—
we live in these stories, and on the backs of them
because life is too complicated to really understand—
so we depend on stories
to explain it.

Stories are often threads of causation: this causes that.
But reality, the larger story, isn’t a series of binary switches
it’s a whole range of decisions
that are informed by everything from weather to emotional states
to random events
which are far from binary.
The best tool we have to explain it all
are stories
because they aren’t on or off
they are a thread:
like a stream:
a beginning, middle, and end.

What I want to know more about
is what happens before beginning
between middle and beginning, 
and before, and after, end.

I want to know what is there
when the stories end
or never begin
instead look like
one long unbroken circle
that in pieces looks like a slightly curved line
in the shape of a mountain sloping gently to a peak,
and down.
Happy New Year! My sister made an end of the year playlist, which you can download below
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Hudson Gardner

Writing & Photos covering place, ecology, and existence.

Created and curated by Hudson Gardner

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