Saturday, September 5, 2009

They Lied! Mosaic Is Much More Than Just Pretty Art.

We’ve all been told stories growing up, whether they were bed time stories, stories of princes and princesses relayed as cartoon, stories of suspenseful and quite lame vampire fiction as teenagers, or the more drama-filled stories we read as adults. The one thing in common between each tale we are told of is this: they all have just one story in its folds. One hero, one heroine, one happily ever after or one tragic ending. Those protagonists had a story told about their lives. One story.

That’s exactly where the story tellers lied. And that is one heck of a lie; it is so immaculately weaved to the extent that we get systemized to it since the youngest age possible and then we can hardly see the problem with it when we grow up… until it hits you straight in the face of course.
Taking the lead from those nice fairy tales we admired so much as kids, we all tend to think of our life as just one big, really long story that we might be able to tell our grandchildren when we’re 75 and slightly senile. Fiction is one thing but in reality this cannot be farther from the truth. We might be able to tell those little brats things, but we won’t tell them just one story; we’ll tell them stories.

So how did I come to realize this very obvious yet quite elusive grand charade that I and most of the people I know are living? Well… It did more than just hit me in the face; it tripped me over. But then its light and breezy consequences lift me up right away.
I’ve spent almost the entirety of the past 21 years searching for my story: looking for the perfect prince, the perfect kingdom and yearning for the perfect ending (and of course timidly fearing that fate holds an ugly one for me instead). At some point I was quite sure I found it and that this was IT!
Okay… I lie; at multiple points of my life I was quite sure that it was it! And every time it slipped away the sadness set in instead and so did the disappointment. I always felt entirely thwarted whenever something ended and I reprimanded myself for being so deluded as to think that “it was it”, because it so obviously wasn’t! Every time I promise myself I’ll be wiser next time and more careful, and that I’ll judge the situation with a more mature perspective, only because I cannot afford anymore bad aims. Time was running out and I needed my story. I needed it when I could still call myself young… those were always the nicest stories.

It was not until the few days before my birthday that it hit me. Seeing as I was turning 21 during the holy month, my thoughts were less fixated on the big party that would not exist and more on what the past 21 years meant. The more I thought about it the clearer it became: I’ve done everything, I’ve been everything, and I’ve been through every kind of story line known to Cairo. I failed miserably at finding something that I feel I had missed out on so far!

I have so many stories to tell about the things I’ve been through to the extent I am sure I could easily write an entire series of books and still won’t run out of tales. And through simple math, I recognized that I’ll still have more stories to tell as the years go by. That could only mean one thing: I should not be looking for “my story”; I have plenty already and there is more yet to come. It’s all about accepting the idea that this so called “one big story” –that is actually none other than “life”- is actually compromised of small miniature plots and subplots that may, or may not, have their own little consequences on the future ones. The trick is to treat past stories -whether comedies or tragedies- as compost to be used to feed and nourish future ones.

The implications of this realization -to me at least- are “Major. Huge!” as my mom said the night I turned legal. Now that I have finally caught that lie red-handed and now that I fully understand the “mosaic theory” of life, I quiver with anticipation at the prospect of the next story... or the one I’m already inadvertently in the middle of.


  1. You have reached THAT realization! The one I have yet to reach and you've done it at such a special age! Young and youthful!

    The storIES of our lives.

  2. One thing is to have stories, another is to remember them and tell them as if they are stories. On that I am tempted to envy you.