A Life is a Library

Dad’s Birthday

“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” ~ Roger C. Schank, Cognitive Scientist

When Chadwick Boseman, died the director of Black Panther, Ryan Coogler quoted an African proverb that goes something like this: “When a person dies, a library is burned to the ground.” That quote went strait to my heart. It’s so true. We never have the opportunity to learn from, laugh or cry with that person again.

As I was recording an upcoming episode of Story~Power last week with a couple of the founding members of the Douglas Oral History Project, that proverb came back to me. We are a library of experiences, hopes, dreams, attitudes, lessons learned or not, and a myriad of emotions and when we die, those are gone forever. Those women are trying to preserve at least a part of those living libraries for their community and the world.

Human libraries die in other ways too. When a couple breaks up, their special language that only they speak dies with the end of their relationship. One of the monologues we give to our students is from a play called The Language Archive by Julia Cho. It’s about that very situation. The first time Dave, my acting teaching partner, gave that monologue to someone, I thought about all the silly shorthand sayings Barry and I share with each other. If someone heard us say those things to each other, they would have no idea of the context, or how we started making those phrases a part of our secret communications.

The one person I wish I could have more conversations with so I could learn more from and about him, is my father. He died in 2004. He was a deep thinker. He understood human behavior and I learned a lot from him about how to help people feel at ease, how to listen, and how to love unconditionally. It was like bathing is soothing waters to be in his presence and I miss him.

I wrote all of that to say that I had this profound realization this week as I’ve been recording and editing several episodes for upcoming Story~Power episodes. Each human life is valuable partly because we can all learn something from the stories of each person’s life experiences. And I realized Story~Power is important for that reason. Of course, Story~Power is not the only way we can be exposed to the stories of ordinary people, but it’s my way of contributing to the Life Library.

Because I’m so inundated with recording, editing, and podcast prep right now, and because I want to make time to go back and work on Time’s Echo, I am not going to be posting to this blog for a while. I’m not sure how long I’ll be gone, so I hope you will be patient. I only have 15 weeks from now until the next semester begins and I need to use my time wisely.

I hope you will take the time during my hiatus to seek out the stories of those you love and learn new things from them.

Welcome new followers and thank your for your occasional comments and likes.

Enjoy your summer/winter.


Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2021

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a new podcast where she and her guests discuss the stories in all formats that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.


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Published by lucindasagemidgorden

I grew up in the West, the descendant of people traveling by wagon train to a new life. Some of their determination and wanderlust became a part of me. I imagine them sitting around the campfire telling stories, which is why I became first a theatre artist, then a teacher and now a writer. They are all ways of telling stories.

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