Once upon a time, a picture was was worth a thousand words. No less. And no more. Today your image may only garner a twelve word tweet, your selfie snare no more than a ‘like,’ or they might each disappear, unseen, in the tsunami.
Swamped by images, submerged in videos, we swim… sink… drown… in a mind-numbing 4D-HD interactive multimedia maelstrom. We mute the TV to flick absent-mindedly through our friends’ timelines – a day passes before we blink, a week before we draw breath – as celebrities mutter silent inanities in the background. We pause the cliff-hanger to marshall our army of emoji, dispatching them to poke, to prod, and to provoke, hostages to an indifferent reality.
Boxset and Blockbuster. Selfie and Snap. YouTube. Netflix. Instagram… the list goes on… and on…
“Video killed the radio star!” they say. “Pics or it didn’t happen!”
Image has usurped imagination, impoverishing a generation, enslaving them. We see visions (trademarked), we dream dreams (copyrighted). We do not own them, and we never will.
These pages are a celebration of something simpler… and infinitely more complex. Of twenty-six symbols and their endless patterns. Of pictures they paint on the inside of living skulls. Of those arrangements of words which distract us from our lives for an hour – those which bring laughter, or tears, those which kindle desire, and heal loss.
In a world of fake news, where falsehoods masquerade as facts, fiction can fly closer to the truth. There are such precious words, in poetry and prose, which can scorch the soul and change the course of human history.
I am a storyteller. These pages are mine, and yours too, if you like to write, or need to read. Over time they will be populated with thoughts and feelings, on writers and writing, on books and authors, on inspiration and creativity. On truth and lies.