In search of story

Disconnections: August 20.18


The chase and the catch, continued from yesterday.

You see “In search of story” at the top of my blog.  For me, trying to write a story is like trying to enjoy a root canal. But I listen to others in an effort to learn about story. And this is what bothers me about the machines: they yield the tidy catch, thereby rendering the messy chase obsolete and attendant stories extinct.

My Grandma Mauck and her siblings would fight to the verbal death about who was born when. With them, it was all about the chase. If they’d had Smartphones to consult, our Thanksgivings might have been quieter, but I wouldn’t have learned about their internecine wars and I’d have been deluded into thinking all my relatives were rational.

My Grandma O’Hern would celebrate summer, no matter how icky hot, with a mountain of pierogi; family and chairs would appear magically and morph into a small city around the table. If they’d had iPads, would I have heard the accounts of how Baby Edna had to walk because Grandpa’s hootch rode in the baby carriage?

How can I hope to develop any story-telling abilities at this point in my life when people are nose-dived into their gadgets, and mind only the catch?

It is arguable that if I don’t know how to tell a story by now I never will. I guess I am stuck in my own messy chase, trying to catch the skill of story-telling, dodging the thumbs of the world.



6 thoughts on “Disconnections: August 20.18

  1. I love how you think and write, but, I’m guessing that is because we’re of the same generation. Back in the day, there was always a generation gap between grands, parents, and kids. Today, there is not only the actual generation but also the technical gap. I don’t think we’ll see a change in our lifetime except for it to become more definitive. I shudder to think about our grandkids gathered around a holiday table when they are our age. What will it be like? They probably will have implants and only have to ‘think’ about something for it to appear on ‘their’ screen as the kitchen robot brings in dinner either in real or pill format. I’m glad I’m the age I am. 🙂

    • Thanks, Judy! I agree that you and I seem to share a worldview, and that’s partly why I enjoy your posts so much. It certainly has to do with our age. I also agree that the generational divide is a technological divide these days. Is our generation about to become irrelevant? Well, not if we have anything to say about it! Your description of our descendants at table made me laugh, but at the same time I cringed. I cannot believe that any descendants of ours with memories — or stories — of blueberry nd rasberry pies or turkey and stuffing would ever settle for a pill!

  2. I don’t know how many of us have the ability to write to the standards we demand – I don’t.

    I did learn from Cheri Rowlands, one of the WordPress editors, that we have to find a way to turn off our inner editor to set the writer free even to paddle at the edge of, let alone swim across, the expanse of water writing a book might entail. Imagine writing with a decisive, derisive, unrelenting, nit-picking, all-round scary creature screeching ‘You really want to put that!?’ or ‘Really??!!’ after every line or two. (Note the scary editor does not allow concerns about word choices or the propriety of using punctuation to hold her back.)

    Setting writing aside, you truly are are an exceptional reader, alert to every nuance, which may have the unfortunate effect of heightening and emboldening your inner editor. I’m sending an old-fashioned ‘good luck, and be of good cheer’ plus a ‘be kind to yourself’ thrown in on behalf of 2018, hoping the best of both worlds will shake itself out in the not too distant future.

    • Thank you, Susan! Yes, the inner editor can be our worst enemy, though I agree she can be indifferent to word choice and punctuation. She’s certainly inconsistent and rarely guilty of enthusiasm. But I’m not sure she stands between me and story. I am beginning to wonder if I just cannot see any continuity to life, if life to me is just a series of unconnected events and so that’s the way I write. This stymies me. Meanwhile, the chase is on. Someday maybe the catch! Thanks for pulling for me!

      • There must be some benefit in seeing a clear, fresh line connected only by a mind’s eye.

        Everything does seem connected to me, but that tangles the threads. You raised many interesting points here and the previous points – too many to untangle.

        Here’s to someday!

      • Yes, I lift my coffee mug to someday!

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