I do a lot of “life thinking” when I drive home from my old home in the mountains of NE Georgia.
Snapped these odd shadows and sky coloring at “the mile-long hill” yesterday while heading into higher elevations. (Honestly, no filters or color correction on this one.) I always remembered this spot as a kid while riding the bus on away basketball games. It was the one place the bus could pass a tractor or slowpoke pickup. You could see a mile. You knew what was coming.
Metaphorical of the journey ahead? Probably not. OK, am I just being overly dramatic after a grad session in narrative media writing? Indulge me.
Good stories don’t work this way. But we need them so bad right now. It’s the only way we seem to come together. Story can give assurance of good things, compassion, mercy, justice—and consequences. Stories have always been important in any culture or civilization to that end. Story is where we all came from. It’s where we are going. In the end, there’s always a story.
Stories are like bridges, that’s why I named a film festival after a bridge. Story connects us in our humanity. It is in stories of love, fear, failure, tragedy, and redemption, that we often awkwardly piece together some kind of inspirational meaning (or lack of meaning) in our lives. Story defines us, and sets us apart in a way that almost magically affirms our individuality—and our commonality. But perhaps most importantly, the best stories connect us and enable precious understanding of identity, purpose and hope.
Good stories remind us there is a destination to our humanity. Our choices matter. Story is powerful—particularly when you can’t see a mile ahead.