Wednesday, January 02, 2008


(First, let me give credit to a guy named Joe Bollinger who is the photographer. I found this image on and saved a copy to use as wallpaper on my home computer for a while. Then, suddenly, I'm looking at it tonight and...)

Wondering what stories are here behind this door, beyond this illuminated window?

Some times I imagine stories from an image like this. As a teacher I used to make my students write stories from evocative images I'd cut from magazines like LIFE when it had a large format.

The art of creating story from a few bits is underrated and, worse than that, under-encouraged. So much of what we surround children with have too much of the plot provided -- movies and books and toys all pre-scripted. Some kids overcome the disadvantage of being advantaged. Most do not.

One of the movies I enjoy is Out of Africa. Years after seeing the movie, I read the book and loved it even more. It is great story. Anyhow, my favorite scene in the movie is at the dinner table -- after the meal. The friends are entertaining one another with song and then story. Denys (Robert Redford) gives Karen (Meryl Streep) the first part of the first sentence and she weaves together a tale of intrigue and passion as the candles burn low.

Unrealistic? No. Perhaps in our own culture most of us are on diets of processed and practiced and unappetizingly predictable story, but there is hope. Every time the power goes out, we remember.

Maybe that is one of the reasons I love a good storm.

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