Saturday, September 8, 2012

Stories: The Real Kind

I've been researching the origin of the word "stories" in reference to architecture and haven't found anything slightly resembling a concrete, reputable answer. But here is what most non-credible sources believe, and because it's so darn charming, what I choose to believe from here on, or at least until someone knowledgeable rescues me from my ignorance.

"History," from the word "historia," means story. Back in the good old days, when art was in everything we did, when we weren't slaves to efficiency and expediency, paintings and stained glass murals decorated the interiors of buildings. When builders decided to add another level to such structures, a new story was created and etched, painted, or built into the walls and ceilings. Each level was a story in itself. And, for example, when searching for a candlestick, one wold say, "perhaps it's in the third story of the library."

Let's pause and take note of how lovely that sounds. Now bask in the covetousness.

And continue.

We artists must carry on such fantastical notions metaphorically instead of literally, since none of us can afford paint and especially since elaborate and fantastical murals on our kitchen walls may violate most of our leasing agreements.

Every step we take, every time we climb a new rung on the ladder of our lives, every new friend we fit into our hearts and every new level we build onto our homes is a story. The plot is built into our walls and into the insides of our minds. When we close our eyes, there are themes that spring to life behind our eyelids.

Everyday, we must find courage to hold our own paintbrushes, login to our own computers, tune our own guitars, crack open our own windows, step outside of the four walls of our lives and make art happen. In this way, I dare say we are truly brave, even more so than those who, centuries ago, must have rushed by their stained glass windows without giving them a second look.

We may not spend four years painting cathedral ceilings on our backs. We may not pen the Bible by hand or invent the chocolate chip cookie. But we dream. We are, each of us, artists. We are builders.

We are storytellers.


  1. Very nice. Interesting. Keep it up, keep writing things that drive me to read them and to keep reading and looking for more even after I am done.

  2. Thank you anonymous person! It really encourages me that you commented. Most of the time, I don't think anyone is even reading. Yet I write! But seriously, thanks :)

  3. Great Job. I'll have to remember to thank our mutual friend for sending me to your blog. Keep writing. :)