Much like Dorothy and Toto were black and white until they arrived in the land of Oz. when we fully immerse ourselves in our history because we are going to craft and tell some slice of our life as an oral story, our lives become fuller, more vivid.
When we consciously craft true personal stories we inevitably explore our lives; we dig through our past, like raking through the coals of a destroyed house. We spend time remembering with a metaphorical memory torch, and the longer we do this, the more we remember, the more images we see and the more colourful our history becomes.
If we then record the story, by video or audio, we create something much more evocative for our descendants than any photo could ever be.
Storytelling and photography are all about capturing the past and later jogging our memories, but a photo is a static image, it is the stories we tell ourselves when we look back at our photos that are important.
I reckon I could stare at almost any wedding photo from the western world circa 1900 and imagine them as my grandparents. To me they all look pretty similar, because what is missing from the photo is the meaning, the stories of what was really happening with the people at the time of the photo, who were they, what were their hopes and dreams and histories.
Storytelling certainly isn’t as easy as pointing a camera and clicking a button, and photos are lovely. They can give a sense of a person, place and time, but it is more like a whiff than a fully inhaled evocative scent that can’t be forgotten.
That is the work of story; the work, the joy and the exhilaration of finding, crafting and telling your story/stories in front of at least one other human being - no short cuts, no interruptions, no notes. Eye to eye, heart to heart.
If you aren't already signed up, and you want these weekly blogposts direct to your in box, sign up here.