Once upon a time…

How stories begin:

Once upon a time…

Erase una vez…

Il était une fois….

Once upon a time | Drew Melton: the Phraseology Project

And then the magic happens…

“Once upon a time there was what there was, and if nothing had happened there would be nothing to tell.” 

-Charles de Lint (Dreams Underfoot)

And then of course…

Once upon a time there were three little sisters,’ the Dormouse began in a great hurry; ‘and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well— ‘

What did they live on?’ said Alice, who always took a great interest in questions of eating and drinking.

They lived on treacle,’ said the Dormouse, after thinking a minute or two.

They couldn’t have done that, you know,’ Alice gently remarked; ‘they’d have been ill.’

So they were,’ said the Dormouse; very ill.’

-Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

And of course…

Once Upon a Time in the West

-Sergio Leone

And let us not forget….

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo… 

-James Joyce (Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)

And finally….

Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing…

-Friedrich Nietzsche

So here we are. Things that once were. And little sisters. Doormice. Curious girls. Italian cowboys. Moocows and nicens little boys. And clever beasts. And all of us gather round the virtual campfire with its crackling burning wood and reddish embers that glow in the darkness which shrouds us, and then Mustafa the StoryTeller begins his tale and his words work their way in, behind our eyes, through the tympanic membranes of our inner ear….and suddenly the darkness is dissolving and we find ourselves in…

A place we have never been. But that seems strangely familiar…

That hidden spot deep in the cerebral cortex where neurons dance…synapses fire….and stories are born…live and die….

…again and again and again and again…

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