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What a story can do to us

We live within stories. 

Often we have a hard time recognizing stories as stories. There are folk tales, bedtime stories, short stories, novels, movies, video games. But there are also national myths, collective stories of greatness, and mental scripts we keep telling ourselves. And they can greatly influence how we behave, think and feel.

Latest Posts

Snowed in

Alone on the mountain. I’ve been hiking for a few hours. I can only hear my breathing and the sound of my steps in the snow. It started around lunch. At first hesitant, a few snowflakes here and there. Then settling in, with a constant but calm snow fall all through the afternoon. Then fully…

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Out of the frame

Photography is as much about what we include in the frame as about what we leave out of it. I think the point applies to much more than photography. What we call focus is not only about the thing we focus on. Monomaniacs are very focused persons but they’re dysfunctional. What they lack is the…

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What are stories good for?

Apart from the personal enjoyment we derive from telling or listening to stories, there may be other benefits for both the storytellers and their public. I’ve written before about the purpose stories may serve, and their capacity to speak to us as if they were written for us. Stories are shared fictions. In contrast with…

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How to be completely miserable in five easy steps

Unless you’re living in a cave, it is impossible to avoid the assault of online self-improvement advice. It’s all over and it covers everything from stress management to changing habits. Pearls of wisdom are overflowing from all corners of the internet. I don’t know about you, but for me this continuous flow of (mostly) unrequested…

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Crossing lines and dead leaves

A morning walk in the forest. The fresh snow fallen during the night simplifies and clarifies what would otherwise be a busy, grey landscape. I stopped in this small clearing. Everything is silent. The rusty leaves of last summer are still hanging on, like a nostalgic tune. The background retains some of the mist and…

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Under the cloud

After so much rain, the forest is a giant sponge. My footsteps quickly fill up with water behind me. Millions of raindrops are suspended on the smallest, finest tree branches. The air is electric and thick with humidity. All the colors are saturated. It hasn’t stopped raining since forever. The sky is one giant cloud.…

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