Saturday, December 22, 2007

Show versus Tell

Literary theory dictates that to show the reader rather than tell is artful, delicate and when it comes to the actual craftsmanship incredibly difficult. Hemingway employed the iceberg theory 1/6 above and 5/6 below the surface - you can see it below the water when you get close enough. I think life dictates that we construct our lives like icebergs - 1/6 of our life routinely sees the light of day, is shone upon, comes in contact with others unquestioned - the other 5 parts are routinely held below, away from casual observation. Is it difficult to live in the format? No, I think we do it without conscious thought. However it is incredibly difficult to live a life of show and not tell, to leave our mouths silent and let our movements through the world paint the tale of our lives. Sure we gesture our way through life, but we do so with the chorus of our own praises in the background.

I was thinking about the nature of show as I was listening and yes I admit singing along to Glory, it's the only song that I know without conscious thought I raise my hands. My faith, my conscious or more accurately self conscious faith has always felt that such acts are merely apart of the literal song and dance of Sunday morning, little more than a gesture to weasel ourselves further into the Christian circle. I want my life to without my words show the case for Christ for my words are faulty - they come from an unclean and never to be clean tongue and heart. But sometimes I wonder if words do bridge the gaps in the interim, fill in the valleys and level the mountains on this journey...

1 comment:

cheryl said...

apt adaptation of the iceberg theory to real life.