February 17, 2011 – Wordsmithing a Life

I have always believed that one of the few things that sets homo sapiens apart from other species is our ability to tell stories. We use stories to raise our children, interact with our loved ones and strangers, and pass down our history to the next generation of storytellers. We use them to entertain, excite and enlighten our fellow humans.

Some of us do it in a more factual way using bullet points and bar graphs. Others of us do it with less structure and more random flower power. Some rely on repetition or profound articulation or sheer volume of information. A select few like to combine all of the above into one large word stew.

The method of telling our story may be determined based upon the audience and what we perceive will be most receptive to them. Many times, the audience itself is determined first by the story-teller’s singularity of style.

Either way, the ability to communicate is a part of the makeup of all creatures – perceived senescent or not. But for humans – and, at least, most definitely whales – communicating in story format has got to be encoded in our DNA.

Why else my consistent desire to write about anything – and if you’ve read a few of these pages, you know I mean anything – whenever and wherever I can? I have written or attempted to tell “my story” in blog-form, poetry, plays, spiritual commentaries, group shares, analytical spreadsheets, character performance, grocery store clerk conversations, emails to my kids’ teachers, water cooler chit-chat, soccer mom associations and one-side, rear-view mirror defamation screeches.

Will all of these words stitch together to form a best-selling novel according to critics and Oprah fans? Probably not.

Will their amalgamation achieve an authentic and well-lived life worthy of its legacy?

I certainly hope so.


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