Why do we like stories so much? Steve Almond, author and creative writing professor, says that the narrator “is the guide who makes sense of the story.” We used to TELL stories, then we WROTE stories, now much of our story telling comes in the form of horrific pictures from the media. Storytelling has become fragmented – why? Because our story is changing and we are confused about it.
The old stories, such as our Western creation story, are obsolete. Even our president deplored that he might not have narrated a good enough new story to the American people. Of course there are all sorts of stories, local and global. Stories illustrate where we come from, where we might be going, what’s going on around us, and how it all hangs together. But, as Almond writes in his very good story on stories, our present storyline is being overshadowed by “glittering fantasies of violence and fame.” He is wondering whether “…the story of our species…has simply become too enormous, too confused and terrifying, for us to grapple with.”
Stop, and question, and wonder, and discuss, and read, and make up your own mind about our current story. Don’t let yourself passively be assaulted by the zillions of fragmented and incoherent pieces of visual and verbal mis- dis- and actual information.
Stop and smell the roses sometime.