Tales from Wal-Mart

This Is Water

photo-124There are probably only four stories playing out in the world at one given time. Four stories that have 45 ga-trillion combinations and permutations, but basically can all be boiled down to roughly four. Maybe even less than that.

Sometimes as I’m driving in my car or washing my hair I begin to think about life and end up with these “Ah-Ha!” moments.  I convince myself that I’ve come up with a novel idea. Nobody else has ever made these same connections ever in the history of the world and WOW! am I so smart.

Then I take one step out of the car or shower and very quickly discover how ridiculous that thinking is as I see this new incredible revelation I had on the way to pick up burger buns being declared all over the internet or in a book or out of the mouth of one of my friends.  I want to say HEY! that’s not fair, I thought that first!

King Solomon nailed it when he wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

All that to say, I have absolutely no notions that all these thoughts I have about story are new. It’s why I view The Story Place as more of a collection, than any novel musings I may come up with. I love being out there in the world on the search for those pieces of life that echo what I believe about story.

I read  a wonderful article over at Storyline by Dean Nelson, describing some of my story  thoughts way better than I ever could have. He also included this video called “This is Water” with excerpts from a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace. (Cue me yelling  HEY! NO FAIR…)This is exactly the kind of story I want to collect in the Tales from Wal-mart series. Please take a few minutes and watch.

And always remember to…”Be Kind. Everyone is Living a Story.”

“But if you’ve really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you will know you have other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful but sacred, on fire with same force that lit the stars.”  David Foster Wallace, 2005 Commencement Speech at Kenyon College

Yeah. That. What he said.

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