I once read a story and really fell in love, I mean really, really fell in love with it. With the plot twists and curves and rising and falling and denouement-ing. I fell in love with the names of the characters first, then their gestures, then their words; I fell in love soon enough with the characters themselves. I read right through them like no one else could! And their words were there for me, their thoughts, their insecurities. They played themselves out for me and reached the reasonable conclusion. And then I thought, “What is this life that I just read, one of so many?” And then with the reasoning within my head I think, “That is life that I just read.” Life inspired by life. Life within life. We look for the stories in our own lives, and they’re there, just as we look for the lives in our stories; they’re there, too. I one time heard a skylark sing just because I had read “Ode to a Skylark,” and so I knew it existed and I realized its presence. Of course, when I heard the skylark sing it could not be contained just as a bird’s song, but rather, the sounds were just as Shelley’s profuse strains of unpremeditated art, and just as Shelley begged, I begged to know its own sweet thoughts. And, just as there is the joy of poetry in life, in that image, song, thought. And there is the tragic story, too. The hero’s unexpected death. The one that knew life, knew that life was a story, and lived his out to its fullest end. That story really made me cry, oh it still does. And I still don’t think it should have happened that way but it did. What a story that I now must tell. Separate story from reality, in your head, but know it is a simple difference of a word, which is a miniscule difference, really. Or is it everything? The word is all. But don’t dare to soften life with story, or to taint story with life.