Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Bit Player

Dementia has been listening to a series of podcasts lately from a site called StoryWonk. They are about writing and being a writer, which is a bit odd, since when it comes to fiction, Dementia is purely a consumer. I hear large fragments from time to time.

One of the ideas that comes up regularly is the idea that every character is the hero of his or her own story. It's a pretty obvious statement, and seems like a good thing for a writer to keep in mind. Except... A recent spate of navel gazing has made it pretty clear that it isn't universally true, and I wonder how common those exceptions are. I am fairly confident that most people are the heroes of their own story, except...

I'm not. I haven't been for a long time. I was once, but somewhere along the line I became a little bit too self aware, and it just stopped, for the most part. I didn't notice at the time; I'm not THAT self aware. But looking back on the last several years of my life, I realize that the most meaningful things I have done is fight for a little bit more screen time in other people's stories.

The awareness is kind of liberating. (Also a little bit depressing, but that is a single snowflake in a blizzard.) There is a line in C.S. Lewis's "Perelandra" that has stayed with me since I first read it, more than 40 years ago. I think I get it now. "Love me, my brothers, for I am utterly superfluous." Exactly.

I'm not the hero; I'm an extra trolling for a speaking part. And it turns out that I am OK with that.

Uncle Hyena

A coda of sorts: A dozen or so hours after I posted this, FaceBook dredged up a post from last year, reminding me that November 6 was the anniversary of the first flight of the first Hawker Hurricane, an event that (cryptic reference number one) changed the history of the world. This led me to what I will call a (cryptic reference number two) "Rose for Ecclesiastes" moment, and left me in tears. NOTHING is EVER simple... (Cryptic references will be decyphered on request.)
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