Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “yarn.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

“I have no routines or personal history. One day I found out that they were no longer necessary for me and, like drinking, I dropped them. One must have the desire to drop them and then one must proceed harmoniously to chop them off, little by little. If you have no personal history, no explanations are needed; nobody is angry or disillusioned with your acts. And above all no one pins you down with their thoughts. It is best to erase all personal history because that makes us free from the encumbering thoughts of other people. I have, little by little, created a fog around me and my life. And now nobody knows for sure who I am or what I do. Not even I. How can I know who I am, when I am all this?”

― Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan

Humans have been telling stories among themselves well before our extant written artifacts. Before the first reed slid into the first clay tablet, before the chalk outlined the hand on the cave wall, we were telling stories.

How many of us these days think of ourselves as the spinners of yarns? I know I will exclaim that I’m lousy at telling stories. Don’t look to me to weave an intricate tale for your amusement while you toast marshmallows on green sticks over your summer camp fire.

Yet we are all story tellers, every day, and most of us are not aware of the tall tales in which we drape ourselves. Sun up to sun down, the yarns knit themselves into our psyches. We grew up poor. We went to a good school. We’re in an unhappy marriage. We have success. We are old. We are attractive. The words and images flow and wrap around us, define us, give us shape—the endless yarn creating the endless scarf of self identity that we cocoon ourselves in and believe about ourselves.

Have you ever stepped outside of yourself for a moment and wondered who you are without your stories? Casteneda described chopping them off, little by little, ridding yourself of your personal history, so that you are surrounded by a fog — or what I would consider to be who you are in this moment. What is left when you unravel all of those yarns?


  1. I’d be nothing without my stories. I guess I keep telling them to avoid that fog Cateneda refers to. Though perhaps it would be freeing to let my guard down.


  2. In this moment, I am a human with a headache, watching a cat watch me. Beyond that, I will see what today brings and live in the fog of the here and now. It reminds me of yoga practice, when I am supposed to be and stay in the present with a clear mind, not focusing on the past or future – having a sense of just being instead of doing.

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