Joan Didion, in her White Album, once wrote, "We tell ourselves stories in order to live...We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images..." I think, however, that we are all writers really--authors of our own self-narratives--and a couple of events lately have made me realize, once again, the truth of what Didion says.
Last month some friends of mine and my wife's brought their five grandchildren over to my parent's lake house. They all changed into bathing suits and rushed to the dock to jump in the water. However, one child in particular, ten-year old Sarah, spied something she had never seen before--kayaks--and wanted to know what they were and what they did. There was an eagerness in her eyes and the kind of freshness you recognize when you see something intriguing for the first time. The next hour was spent with Sarah climbing in and out of the bright yellow Wilderness Systems Ripper kayak, and her figuring out how to paddle and turn back and forth in different directions.