What’s the Story?

9 commentsPhotography,Writing

He sang us his life stories and we stopped to listen.

Nothing could be more fundamental to our mental faculties than our innate ability to tell and comprehend stories. They’re everywhere: in movies, books, TV shows, newspapers, and blogs. But even if we isolate ourselves from these sources, heck even if we spend months in a cave, we can’t escape stories.

It has been argued that our natural instinct to perceive our lives as stories starring ourselves is essential to our sanity and survival. We see the world as a series of causes and effects, ifs and thens, and some maybes and what ifs thrown in to keep things interesting and unpredictable. For that purpose, some use science, logic, religion, history, or that elusive yet persistent notion we refer to as “common sense.” Others avoid organized forms of knowledge altogether and refer instead to an even more elusive “Self.” Others argue a complete absence of any system of knowledge and experience. Be that as it may, tell any one of these people a good joke and they will laugh.

We use stories to synthesize meaning from essentially indifferent and random occurrences. The world presents itself to us unadorned, without a dramatic soundtrack. Major life-altering events could occur in the least expected and most inappropriate places and at the most awkward and inconvenient times.

On the flip side, how often have we tried to play film director or music conductor by setting a scene and orchestrating every small detail only to find things veer from or even proceed contrary to our plans? Yet we still look back on it all and try to benefit from hindsight to make some sort of sense of it all. And when we fail to do so, the psychological consequences run the gamut of uncomfortable to shattering.

So when I’m asked why I like to design a house, or make a film, or take a photograph or keep a blog, I often give the short answer: “I’ve always dreamed of being (take your pick) an architect / filmmaker / photographer / writer.”

But what I’m really thinking is: Hey, I just want to tell stories.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Samsam June 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Please tell me more stories cause I love them.
:)

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Meedo June 21, 2010 at 11:18 am

Thanks for listening! :)

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Samsam June 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Please tell me more stories cause I love them.
:)

Reply

Meedo June 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Thanks for listening! :)

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Mona June 21, 2010 at 7:20 am

I know that you picked this photo coz I love this guy :)

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Meedo June 21, 2010 at 11:16 am

So true!

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Mona June 21, 2010 at 10:20 am

I know that you picked this photo coz I love this guy :)

Reply

Meedo June 21, 2010 at 2:16 pm

So true!

Reply

Rizal November 21, 2015 at 2:50 pm

I am really enyonijg this bible study! Thank you for putting it together. Your book, For Instruction in Righteousness, is amazing. We just started going through it with our 4 kids and it is bringing us so much closer together. Thank you! Your time you have put into your blog and books has been a blessing to us!

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