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Thursday, April 05, 2012

"This could be a long story..."

It always is.

No matter what story your telling, if it's anything, it's long.  As it should be, it's a story.

I hear people saying this phrase: "Well, in a nutshell here's what happened."  And then they precede to talk fast and edit out details, adverbs, adjectives and correct punctuation when they can get away with it.  And why not?  Their primary objective is to get to the point, not tell the story.

But here's the thing with story, it's not alway about the point.  That's why the Bible was written in the form it was.  And I don't think you can argue that if the Bible is anything it is "taking the scenic route" to Jesus.  Story after story, some mystic, some mythic, but most just long drawn out stories of regular everyday things happening to everyday people with everyday issues.

But the "scenic route" is becoming the point to me.  You don't see deer in rut and heat trying to get to know each other before mating sitting on a bench at the park swapping stories and holding hoofs and laughing at the annoying geese.  Animals don't get to know each other through the medium of story, well, maybe dogs, they sniff each others butts for a while in an effort to get to know each other better.  But other than that, we are the only creatures walking this planet that interact with story.

And we can try to cram a story into a nutshell if we so desire, but a story wasn't made for a nutshell.  It's like putting a toothpaste back into the tub.  It's made to come out, not be re-put make in and re-squeezed back out.

So the next time someone says, "Oh, it's a long story."  Surprise them by saying, "Oh boy, Oh boy, I love long stories, tell me every juicy detail and don't leave out a single storyline."  When they warn you that it could get a little more detailed than you desire, giving them fair warning as well that you're in the story for the long haul and that they won't have to get queer in the middle of the story and say something like "I'll let you go." or "That is probably more than you wanted to know." or "but that is beside the point."

We need a generation who doesn't want to be let go, that could never be told more than they want to know because they are so curious, and who relish the off-roading in the conversation found beside the point.

I'm sick of truncated stories fit into nutshells.


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