First, I would like to say hello and welcome to all of my new followers! I’m so happy to have you here. And in honor of you, this morning I have a few thoughts on friends.
One of my favorite literary terms is in media res. Translated from the Latin, this means, “into the middle of things.” As a young writer, I learned that this is where a story begins. You can’t start from the VERY beginning, or else every book would open with a woman giving birth, to the protagonist, at the beginning of his or her life. And even then, it’s not the true beginning. Other people and past events will shape the protagonist’s story, and you’d have to go back and explore those…really, it’s impossible.
So you have to start somewhere in the middle, where things are already happening, and drop your reader amidst the action. And of course, you should start where things are interesting, so the reader will keep reading.
But despite not knowing the VERY beginning straight off, we still get familiar with the story. There’s backstory, and there are flashbacks, all kinds of devices that fill us in on everything we need to know, everything that completes the story for us. Starting “in the middle of things” isn’t a liability at all.
Having just moved to a new place, we’ve slowly been making friends. This is not always an easy task as an adult! And I realized that when we make new friends, we are also coming into their lives, and they into ours, in media res. Call it experience, call it backstory, call it baggage, even…everyone has lived a part of their lives before meeting us, and depending on how good of friends we become, we’ll learn about their past and why they are who they are.
Just as we are going to sit down and invest our time into reading a book and becoming engrossed in a story, we also set forth to weave ourselves into one another’s lives, invest ourselves in each other, maybe a little, maybe a lot. Our futures are on a crossing path, now, despite dropping in amidst everything that’s going on, everything that has already happened. And we’ll all be different people for it, the same way reading a book can change you.
There’s a saying that people are like books that must be read. And I’ve seen the quote, “Some of my best friends are books.”
Wise sayings, indeed.
One thought on “Starting in the Middle”
In medias res! Yay, Latin! We learned a lot about this in Classics, how every epic poem starts that way. But I never really thought about how EVERY story starts that way, including our own lives. I think my favorite line in this post is: “everyone has lived a part of their lives before meeting us.” So true.