a story is like a house

"A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you."

(Alice Munro, Selected Stories)


A few thoughts on saying goodbye:

The four of us sipped lattes or lagers (depending on the time of day) for four days in a row, snatching as many moments together as we could, before they moved away.

On Saturday morning we helped them pack out of their small studio apartment, loading up truck beds and trailers with worldly goods: dishes and chairs, boxes of books and strangely shaped lamps.

We've lived in such close proximity for five years now. At first, only dorm rooms apart, then a few blocks, a short walk, a five minute drive. Now, on opposite sides of the state, we are pleased to watch our dear friends embark on such a grand new adventure; I marvel how this weekend, the weekend they have moved, marks one years since the accident and I am overwhelmed by the sheer amount living that has taken place since that striking day last November.

After they left on Thursday, I sat down on the couch, staring at the coffee table laden with used plates and an empty dish of apple crisp, no longer warm, and I cried. For the end of this season, and my hesitance to begin afresh. For even though missing people I love is such a habit already, I still feel this change deeply.

On Sunday, we said goodbye quickly, wanting to linger, and yet not wanting to just the same.
Of all the things, of all the thousand snapshots and memories of our lives together, from college, to trips, to weddings, there is one thing that rises above everything else like a siren, clear and loud.
It is this: if family status is measured in love, then we are more brothers and sisters than friends.

Now, with a bright face and eager heart,  I am picturing their new life. For just as a story is like a house, a new home very much shapes who we are. I reflect on how much this house of ours has shaped our story. And I am eager to watch how a new home in a new town will shape theirs.



  1. This warms me, and saddens me - but mostly just makes me glad for your sisterly friendship. xo


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