I have a thing for fiction. Books, movies – anything that tells a story really. These are my favorite things.
A while back at my mom’s house, Drew went around the house with our camera taking pictures of other pictures, of Mom’s figurines, of the painting of a lion on a wall. This is one of the shots he ended up with. And I love it. Pretty Nola in artistic black and white, tucked inside a shiny blue ribbon. But it illustrates my point, this picture of a picture.
I’ve been watching my Friends DVDs all the way through the series, and I’ve found myself lauhing even harder than usual at the classic funny scenes. I’ve noticed lines here and there that I’d forgotten about because they don’t play in the t.v. versions. All in all, it’s just a great entertainment experience. But then the other day I popped in the gag reel from one of the seasons. And I laughed. So hard. I cried. And then I tweeted: Hollywood bloopers exist to remind us no matter how good the script, life is always funnier. The thing about a scene of Friends is that only we are laughing. In the gag reel, they’re cracking each other up. And although I suppose it wouldn’t work for fifteen shows a season, ten seasons per show – it really is a far more contagious kind of cheer.
I didn’t work on the novel the last two days either, because our oldest had basketball games. We ate a big meal with family and we shopped a little and we cheered on our 10-year-olds. I thought about the novel some when we were in the car or very quiet. But no writing.
You know how they say the cobbler’s kids have no shoes or the preacher’s kids rebel? I think about this a lot when it comes to being in the storyteller business. Actors, screenwriters, songwriters, novelists (among others) often bring us into these beautiful pictures of the world and of life. Often, the stories re-focus us for our own story. And I wonder if, and hope, they put that much energy into making their own story great – their real one. I’m really moved by Hollywood marriages that last – by any marriage that lasts. Because, really, marriage isn’t very hard to get out of. And choosing to put your all into it for an entire lifetime? That’s a pretty cool story.
I love fiction. I want to be a part of it – writing, creating, putting it out there. But the thing is, fiction is really just a picture of the picture. Living life well is a much more thrilling accomplishment than imagining other people who do.