Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tell Me A Story

The Greatest Show on Earth.
The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Every Picture Tells A Story.
Tell Me A Story

Tell me a story, Sarah said, looking into her mother’s eyes as her mother bent toward her to kiss her good night. Her mother smiled every time she said this, even when she was too tired to tell much of a story. Sarah began to learn that every word is in itself a story. There is life in every syllable, every sound, her mother used to say. When she spoke sometimes Sarah closed her eyes, and her mother sang to her softly. Some were songs she knew, others her mother made up. Where do you think songs come from? Her mother said, when Sarah asked about a song. Songs come from somewhere!

I want you to think of a word as a string, her mother said once. Close your eyes and see the string. Make the string a red string, one with three threads intertwined. Make it as long as a spool of thread, or the garden hose. Now let the word unwind, just like the thread, or the hose, watch the thread as it is pressed through the needle eye, then begins stitching, the hose begin to spray a fountain onto flowers ready for a drink.

Ah, Sarah sighed, her eyes closed tight. I am beginning to see what you mean, she said. There is no end to imagination, creation. That’s the way stories go. Each one begins another, each a wheel, spokes, rainbows, circuses, flowers, smiles. I know, her mother said, touching her hair and smiling that smile again. Just remember, there is no end.

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