These stories we tell about ourselves– they’re almost like our infrastructure, like railroads or highways. We can build them almost any way we want to. But once they’re in place, this whole inner landscape grows up around them. So maybe the point here is that you should be careful about how you tell your story, or at least conscious of it. Because once you’ve told it, once you’ve built the highway, it’s just very hard to move it. Even if your story is about an angel who came out of nowhere and saved your life, even then, not even the angel herself can change it.
Michael Lewis really is a great non-fiction writer. I think this is one of the best segments on This American Life that I’ve heard in a while. It fascinates me how something from reality can be presented in such a poetic and poignant manner. I tend to read and to write fiction, but drafting a story that has already happened takes away some of the burden of fabrication. Something to consider.