Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2021

All You Really Have…


“All you really have, in the end, are your stories.”

– – Burt Reynolds on the TV drama “Burn Notice” 2010

We are born; we live our lives, and as we see the final curtain beginning to come down our material things become meaningless. Most of the people we have in our life become exasperating as they can’t understand where we are and where we are going.

What is left?

We have our memories and even those begin to fade away. What can we do? We take our memories and we speak them aloud or write them down. We tell our stories. We move them from the fragile causeways of our brain to a place outside ourselves.

What stories do we tell? All of them. We tell the true ones that impressed themselves on our heart and brain and the ones we’ve made up to fill in the blanks or show how we wish things had really gone.

On the TV spy drama “Burn Notice,” Burt Reynolds was a guest star playing a retired secret agent who had gotten involved in one last dangerous caper. Knowing that this was his last hurrah he accepted his fading from the scene with the words, “All you really have, at the end, are your stories.” And so it is with all of us. Secret Agent, Insurance Agent, or the guy who washes your car. We all have our stories. If we didn’t there would be no need for books, movies, or rows of barstools. We all have our stories and we live to tell them. Otherwise we would be a world of hermits.


One of the oldest clichés is that of the man climbing the mountain to see the Sage who lives in a cave at the summit. When he arrives he asks the Wise Man, “Tell me the meaning of life.” Whatever the bearded man in the lotus position tells him the climber is confused because the real answer is, “You tell me, because your life is different than mine. Tell me your story.”

“All you really have, in the end, are your stories.”

We are a story telling species. As we live we amass a catalog of stories and spend the rest of our days telling and retelling them. We amend them, embellish them, sometimes deny them, and even mix the true ones with the fiction. And some we forget and to be honest, some of them deserve forgetting.

I have been telling stories all my life. I see no reason to stop. I’m going to keep doing it even if nobody listens or reads them. Just like everyone else, I create and then tell my stories for myself.

There are fewer new stories anymore. These days I find myself rewriting the old ones, sharpening the language, coloring the imagery, taking out the bits that everybody skips anyway, and honing the edges of my memory. It is a challenge, but I enjoy it.  And maybe all of this shuffling and jiving will result in some brand new stories because after all…

“All you really have, in the end, are your stories.”

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9 thoughts on “All You Really Have…

  1. Reblogged this on fiercefabulousfunny and commented:
    This “story” resonated with me. At this point in my life I have so many stories. Some good, some bad, some happy and some bad. However, they’re my stories nonetheless


  2. Larry Sommers on said:

    John, this is fabulous. I’m going to copy and keep it. As a writer whose avowed mission is “finding fresh meaning in our common past,” this really speaks to me. Thank you for this particular concatenation of words.


  3. I love that line “We all have our stories. If we didn’t there would be no need for books, movies, or rows of barstools.” Think I’ll borrow it for One-Liner Wednesday, if it’s OK with you.

    I really liked the show “Burn Notice,” but don’t remember the episode with Burt Reynolds. I’ll have to watch for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous on said:

    The Doctor said, “We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” I think that’s a philosophy by which to live. (Well, one of ’em! I got a million of ’em!)


  5. Pingback: #1LinerWeds from John Kraft – The Sound of One Hand Typing

  6. Pingback: The “Thank Heaven Daylight Saving Time Is Over” Week That Was – The Sound of One Hand Typing

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