Amazing graphic by Jason Munn

How do songs, stories – the unique ones that are art, the no less special everyday ones locked up inside people’s heads or bantered back and forth with other folks – become narratives in which daydreams, words and sounds of actual lives/life are embedded.

Maybe stories, fiction or not, give solace, context, possibility, as much with their stable, recurring forms as with their infinitely various contents, and thereby produce examples of lives shaped, framed so they are recognizably distinguishable from emptiness, from darkness that seems always to surround and render lives unseeable.

I’m reaching out, asking you.

Do songs and stories create real shapes, colors, smells, sounds.

Real even if futile vis-à-vis the absolute arbitrariness of what happens to be happening moment by moment, day by day.

-John Edgar Wideman, “Arizona”

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