A Complicated, Yet Valid Life

“Everyone who tells a story tells it differently, just to remind us that everybody sees it differently. Some people say there are true things to be found, some people say all kinds of things can be proved. I don’t believe them. The only thing for certain is how complicated it all is, like a string full of knots.” (93)
I chose this passage because I think it illustrates all of Winterson’s thoughts about the way that she was told to grow up, and the way that she is now experiencing life. The first line had a big impact because it reminds us how everyone is going to experience life differently, but it is their life and they live the way they do because of their material experiences. Two people could be reading the same scripture from the bible, but the impact and interpretation of the scripture might be completely different between the two people. I also think that this line could be Winterson calling out all the people who judged her throughout her lifetime. She was just trying to live her life and experience different things to be able to tell her story, but she was not able to do that because of all the other people pushing their thoughts and beliefs onto her. The second sentence also combats all the ideologies that she has been forced to conform to her entire life. If things are not able to be  scientifically proven, people do not believe that it truly exists. This is the argument for so many things that are seen as taboo within society, especially when it comes to sexuality. It reminds me of the idea that people have about queer people choosing to be queer versus being born as who they are. Because there is no formula or test to prove that you are born queer, people disregard it as a valuable identity. Winterson lives life as a queer person so she knows that this in fact is not a choice, but it is who she was born as, and this personal lived experiences are why she said, “I don’t believe them.” As Winterson grew and began to learn on her own she saw that everything that seem black and white, right or wrong, was much more complicated than that. Identities specifically are so nuanced that you can never compartmentalize a human being. This passage connects to the books a whole because it shows the transition that Winterson makes in her life from internalizing all of the negative things she has been told, to really understanding her experiences within life and how complicated yet valid they are because it is her life.