A Thousand Words

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. What does a picture really say? Admittingly biased by the fact that I love writing, alas, I must yet express that that has got to be one of the most ignorant cliches I have ever had the misfortune of knowing.

What can a picture really tell you? What unique life experience can be even mildly recreated by a still image? A memory is not confined to an 8×5 piece of paper. A story is not crippled to the extent that it cannot be properly told without the crutches that are physical images.

In this visually driven society, there are times when images and video can benefit a story. However I think we have lost the patience and raw curiosity to hear a story for what it is. Story telling was once the only form of education, history, tradition and entertainment. There’s no implication that we should degress to lesser forms of communication but with the loss of imagination, with the loss of that creative spark that can so easily flame a story to life, we are enslaved to our creation.

When someone asks me, “So what was a great experience that you had while traveling?”, I yearn to sit them down and start from the beginning, detailing it through to the end. Americans don’t have time for that. If they did they would have found something else to spend it on by now. We, as a society, have done a pathetic job at story telling. A picture is not worth a thousand words. I don’t think a picture is worth the one word needed to identify itself.

I have not grasped the raw feeling and life that flowed so vibrantly in many of my accounts of travel. I plan to change that. I plan to fan the flame that is the art of story telling. I will tell a story of my life with words; words worth a thousand pictures. I will commit to bringing my listeners, and readers, to the places I have been. I will guide them down each crowded street, carry them to the last rough rock at the top of each mountain. Walk with them along the patient sand which guards us from the relentless sea. Shading our eyes from the piercing sun, I will point to where I once stood, long ago, looking out across the blue rippling glass.

Our words are worth more than a thousand pictures. We must begin to thoughtfully and carefully share them once again.

Published in: on 31/07/2010 at 1:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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