The Light Dances at Night by Randall LaGro, oil on canvas, photo courtesy of the Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico.
"If there is magic in story writing, and I am convinced that there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader."- John Steinbeck
Update 5:45 p.m.: Et voila! This afternoon I installed a new modem; so far it's working! All being well, normal programming will resume Tuesday. I'm looking forward to catching up with the writers' groups from which I've been missing in action, as well as with you and your blogs. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
As most of you know, I've been without internet access for nearly a week now. I've been reading and working on my book - telling a series of stories - when not having extremely frustrating conversations in French with the hopeless LAN access provider. I was touched by Scott Russell Sanders's Ten Reasons Why We'll Always Need A Good Story from the book A Writer's Book of Days:
"We delight in stories because they are a playground for language, an arena for exercising this extraordinary power. Stories create community. They link teller to listeners and listeners to one another. Stories help us to see through the eyes of other people. Through stories we reach across the rifts not only of gender and age, but also of race and creed, geography and class, even the rifts between species or between enemies.
"Stories show us the consequences of our actions. To act responsibly, we must be able to foresee where our actions might lead and stories train our sight. Stories educate our desires. Instead of playing on our selfishness and fear, stories give us images for that which is truly worth seeking, worth having, worth doing.
"Stories help us dwell in place. Stories of place help us recognize that we belong to the earth, blood and brain and bone and that we are kin to other creatures. Stories help us dwell in time. History is public; a tale of influences and events that have shaped the present; the mind's time is private, a flow of memory and anticipation that continues, in eddies and rapids, for as long as we are conscious. Narrative orients us in both kinds of time, public and private.
"Stories help us deal with suffering, loss and death. Stories reek with our obsession with mortality. Stories teach us how to be human. We are creatures of instinct, but not solely of instinct. More than any other animal, we must learn how to behave. Stories acknowledge the wonder and mystery of Creation. (They) give us hope of finding meaning within the great mystery."
I am hoping to be back soon, exchanging stories with you! Also, I will post a piece about George Bush's lamentable attempts at Middle East diplomacy. On a brighter note, our German friends Ralf and Jutta, who moved to Budapest are in town. We had a wonderful dinner Saturday evening - my first outing this year, other than to the doctor's office. Better days ahead...