Stories only exist when they're told

Just as gifts only exist when given, stories exist only when told. Stories exist in the live, ideally improvisational experience of weaving together past told stories, details and commentaries.

They only have the structure we give them in the moment. Narrative structure is always fluid. It has no solid state, except if we choose to replicate stories exactly.  Still, they have no intrinsic structure, they are all heart crafted. At any time, we can the order how we present and detail events, who we bring in and reference in stories.

From this perspective, the memories we have that we wove into past stories are simply material for a story we tell in the present. It is both accurate and provocative to think how stories only exist in their telling and listening.