“A Serious Question” or “What Happens When a Writer Loves Poetry and Journalism” or “Ouch, these Questions Hurt My Brain”

Can there be a story without me in it? Is it possible to write anything outside of–minus me? Of course not. Right?

But what if I write about the shed? My view of the shed. What if I write about the neighbors? My take on the neighbors. Even if I snap a photo or record a video, I can’t remove myself from the tale-telling entirely.

And then there’s you—the reader, viewer, listener. And you can’t remove yourself either from the way you receive the story. How does anything ever get communicated?

Man #1 states, “Red, red, red, red, red.” Man #2 responds, “Yes, you’re right! Yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow.” In walks Man #3. “Finally,” he states, looking relieved. “Green, green, green, green, green.”

Maybe this is not a problem, after all. Maybe all there is to communicate is Each Other. We try to capture a moment outside of us, but all we capture is us. We try to tell a story that happened to others, but what we end up relaying is what is inside of us–our hearts, histories, hopes, dreams, pasts.

But somewhere deep in the center of storytelling, running down the middle like that vein you have to pull out of a shrimp before you cook it, is fact. Pure fact. Somewhere, a woman just got shot. Somewhere, a child’s parent hit him. Somewhere, a storm killed a family while they sat in their house eating dinner.

Who can bear these facts? Perhaps I’ll start to receive the news as poetry, concentrate on what that reporter has contributed to this article, what part of his soul is showing as he shouts into a microphone in front of a burning building.

Maybe all we have to communicate is Each Other.

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