Craig Bohanan’s photo blog: It’s mostly a matter of faith

A mountain stream near Old Fort NC does what it's been doing right along, except in slow motion. (photograph by Craig Bohanan)

It is said that photography can no longer be trusted. We’ve advanced from the era of subtle manipulations of tonality and blurring shutter speeds to the creation of enchanting fantasy worlds which as often as not begin with a photograph of your grandmother’s broom closet.

But what about writing? It’s just as bad, probably worse, always has been. Because you can start with absolutely any word you want and then stack up whatever ones you like behind it. I could, for instance, have begun this piece with the word “hippopotamus,” but I couldn’t see what would logically follow, so I chose the word “it,” which lends itself to possibility. But you get the idea: You can do anything at all with words. You can build any kind of story you like.

These Mountain XPress posts have worked their way round to being primarily storytelling, and I’ve concocted two stock responses to the question: Is that story really true?

Answer No. 1: Which part?  Answer No. 2: True enough.

I can get away with that, and maybe you can, too, but don’t try to pull this stuff if you’re practicing law or medicine. If you do you’ll soon find yourself conducting business on the street.  And eventually you’ll realize that you’ve chosen the exactly wrong profession, shoulda been a writer; which leads inevitably to the what-if trap. What-if I’d taken all that money invested in higher education and used it to buy wonderful No. 2 pencils?  What-if I took all the time devoted to study and put it into sharpening those pencils? The unavoidable conclusion is that you’d be way over-qualified as a writer.  So it’s not a road you’d want to travel.

But of course the converse is also true.  A writer of stories who begins to rely over-heavily on legalistic footnotes, obscure Latin phrases and lengthy disclosure statements soon finds him or herself short of an audience and desperate for an advanced degree. And that’s a major problem because applying for a college loan with only your pencil collection as collateral is no walk in the park. I know. I’ve tried that.  (Answer No. 2).

SHARE
About Craig Bohanan
Asheville-based personal historian Craig Bohanan shares his perspective on daily life.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.