Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 236 The Story's theThing

Dear friends,

My favorite professor at NYU, Mark Dickerman, told us from day one in Dramatic Writing class those many years ago: the story is everything. No matter what fabulous actors you employ, or the quality of the special effects, or the crazy budgets you have at your fingertips, it's all washed up without a great story. The nuts and bolts of character and plot put together with skill and creativity can tell us more about our world and ourselves than any lecture or newspaper column. I love a good story.

Tonite Smitty and I took to the big screen and saw Toy Story 3. The last movie we saw together at the theatre was Star Trek, and that was last spring. We tried to watch a movie at home last night, slogged through some of it, and at last to the great relief of us both, we turned the thing off.

Toy Story 3 was a beautiful movie. In the final analysis, it's about relationships. Friendship. Sacrifice. Love. Yes, it's only a "cartoon". But a good story can live in any venue. Because we see truth in a good story. And in the best stories, we catch the reflection of the Great Drama of which we are all a part.

The Great One is The Storyteller, but He's also in the Great Drama. It would be like an author of your favorite book actually stepping into the story from outside of it. Kind of hard to get your head around that one, isn't it? The Lord of all has a story line, but His part of it involves to some degree Him handing over the pen to us to write as we choose. Still, the book belongs to Him. And there it is again - the wild mystery of the crossroads of the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. There hasn't been a person alive yet who can untangle that one. When we read or see a story that touches the wonder, the mystery, the pathos, the glory of life, we get that tug of truth that is so satisfying. The creator made us creators. He speaks to us through nature and preachers and the bible...and also through art and music and fairy tales. He is all, and is in all.

Tired tonite. Got my big boy home from Alaska and sent my little boy off to camp in the Adirondacks. Had a good cry today about Smitty and the cane, and now I'm fine. Just need some sleep. Lately it feels like I'll never catch up. No doubt the fireworks won't help on that front. That's ok. I'm long past the point of demanding everything go my way... I just dozed off while typing so I guess that's my que to exit, stage left (as Snagglepuss used to say...)

Live your story for all you're worth, friends.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


BTW, finally finished all 3 "Lord of the Rings" books (fabulous). I think Huckleberry Finn is next!


jbm02 said...

Not exactly on-topic but...just wanted to let you know what an incredible impact your posts have had. I am constantly amazed and humbled by your generosity of spirit, your ability to truly forgive and your enthusiasm for seeing the good side of life. I don't know that I could have faced such an event with the optimism and faith that you do. Actually, I do - and I wouldn't be able to do it. You are an inspiring example. Thank you.

mary louise said...

I cry EVERY time I read the final book of the Fellowship Trilogy and Aragorn gets crowned. It's so moving. It makes me think about Jesus Second coming, which will obviously be a billion times better but still. I love reading those books.

Steve and Hannah said...

Dear JBM - Thank you for your kind words. You bloggies mean the world to me, and have been like wind beneath my wings lo these many months. I'm not always optimistic, but I am blown away by the incredible mercy of God in all of it!

Mary Louise, What would I do without you? You've been a faithful friend for a very, very long time...we are getting along on this pilgrim road. I love you dearly! Loriann