29 March 2016

Let There Be Stories

Every Friday morning, I receive a digest of blog posts from Linkedin. I don't know that I ever asked for it. The first time it came, I thought I would change my preferences and get off the mailing list, but I rarely log into Linkedin, so the digest kept coming. Every Friday.

Sometimes one or two of the posts featured are interesting, but most of the time, I feel like they come from another planet. I don't usually read much of the digest and just delete the email each week, always thinking, next time I log in, I'm getting rid of this piece of spam.

Every once in a while, though, one blog post will hit me. Hard. Every once in a while, someone who writes for Linkedin grabs my attention and holds it throughout the day, sometimes all weekend long and sometimes beyond.

Nicholas Thompson is one of those. He recently wrote about complex storytelling. The title of his blog post, Why Complex Storytelling Is Thriving In Our Digital Age, really caught my attention because I'm a writer. More than a cyclist or crocheter or photographer or designer, I am and always have wanted to be a writer.

I've been discouraged from time to time because it seems reading is falling by the wayside. It seems society in general is moving toward "like" buttons and "lol" or other acronyms. I have often felt the world is falling into a pit of darkness by being obsessed with shorter, concise snippets instead of deeply communicating or reading.

Reading, to me, is like taking a vacation. Reading not only allows me to learn, but often thrusts me into places I may not ever see, experiences I may never encounter, dreams for which I can only long. To me, when people stop reading, they stop dreaming, and they stop wishing for or working toward something better.

So I was utterly thrilled to read Nicholas Thompson's take on storytelling. It gave me hope. It made me believe all is not lost.

After reading and contemplating the blog post for a few minutes, I grabbed a water pitcher and went to the kitchen to fill it so I could water the plants of one of my bosses as instructed while he is away at a seminar. In the kitchen, several of my co-workers were gathered around my good friend Mike, whom we often hike with, listening with marked enthusiasm to his "Ladybug Diary". Last summer during his anniversary trip to Hawaii with his wife, they were hiking along a volcanic trail, desolate except for three bushes and covered with the mists of the rainy season when suddenly the clouds began to lift, exposing the cones and craters of an eruptive past. As Mike and Kim marveled at the landscape, a ladybug landed on his arm.

One day while he was driving in the concrete canyons of downtown Denver on a hot day, he characteristically had the window open and his elbow leaning out. And a ladybug landed right on it!

Now, to add to his compendium, as he was taking down his outdoor Christmas wreath on a 7-degree day, he found a live ladybug beneath the pine boughs. He coaxed the tiny being onto his arm and deposited it on an indoor plant.

I watched my bedazzled co-workers, who were caught up in the marvelous story.

No, storytelling has not died. Nosiree! It's alive and well as a tiny little ladybug on a very cold day!


  1. It is alive indeed, a lot has gone to the short and sweet crap, as many have a low attention span. But there is still much out there. Guess he's a lady bug magnet.

  2. Nice post! I can hear Mike telling the lady bug tale as I write this. It may be awhile, but I think reading will return, especially by book (non electronic). There's something about having a book in your hands while reading.


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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