Story is a part of us. Story is not just entertainment. Story is an expression of the Creator in us;story is not only making sense of the world for ourselves, but also for each other. The sharing of a story adds that special glue that truly makes a story what it is. Just as our dreams – told by our sub-conscious as narrative – is one of the mechanisms we humans use to make sense of our lives and keep us mostly sane, so story is a shared dream; a narrative shared to teach, understand, entertain and bind us together.
The storytellers of ancient times, the great bards, were also the teachers, the lawyers, the judges, the counsellors, the bestowers of power – and it was the stories they held and shared that gave them the wisdom and authority to do all these other things.
Oh and in case you still think story is trivial – know that God loves story. His word tells countless stories; prose, poetry, romance, tragedy, epic rescues and family drama. Betrayal, Love, Sacrifice. It’s all there. He came to save, and while he was here, he did not spout polemics (mostly) but taught the crowds with story.
Today our storytellers are somewhat different from the ancient bards and minstrels on the outside – and there are new mediums to tell their stories with. The great bards of the age have brought metaphor right into our face; Film and Television – the fire in the corner of the room. A Bard no longer has to roam from village to village, he is the one who lives in the palace and we travel to his village – the multiplex. We can choose to stay away, but I truly believe we would be the poorer for it. Because somehow, the most important part of all is that shared experience. Whether it’s sitting next to your dear one holding their hand, whether it’s your family in a row sharing Popcorn, whether it’s friends in a front room dazzled by adventure to share the story is to bring us together in Wisdom, Truth and Community.
And so here I’ll be talking about stories. About the great storytellers. I WILL assume you’ve already shared in the experience, so don’t complain if a major plot point is revealed. Having said that I generally won’t be writing about the PLOT of a film (I get very annoyed when I ask what a film is about and get given the plot), I shall generally be writing my thoughts on what a Film is ABOUT. Some answers are simple (yes, the Shawshank Redemption is about….you’ve guessed it Redemption. Others are not so easy. Macbeth? No, not about witches, it’s about POWER.)
Let’s build a bit of community around story. Oh and let me encourage you to share and tell your own stories.