Story is the Only Way to Live

Poe's the Spectacles by Byam Shaw
Poe's the Spectacles by Byam Shaw

By the age of twelve I can remember imagining that my life was a movie.  Sometimes I would take several cuts of a simple course of events like jumping down from my bunk bed, moving around a chair, swooping a binder off of the desk, spinning and then opening the door until I did it just right.  Then I would click off the camera in my head and think, “that was a good shot.”

Besides making me crazy, this sort of imagination created in me a sense of life as story.  Still, I think this is really the only sort of life there is.

If the broader, more sweeping strokes of your life don’t create an interesting story line then leave them on the cutting-room floor, reevaluate, and get out there and live something to leave the rest of us awed, dumbfounded, side-split or gasping for more.

The tedious part, whether making a movie or writing a novel, is the researching, repetition and reworking.  In life this adds up to so much diaper changing, toenail clipping and dog walking.  And these things are indispensable to any good story as well as to any good life.  But the stuff that squeezes out through the pores of living, this is the stuff that makes the story.

This leads me to my always developing theory on life, currently in only two parts:

1.) Put yourself in the right tight spots. (Get into trouble, but only the right kind.)

2.) Never lament the pressure.

What squeezes out should make for a good story, and a good life.

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