Sometimes we come across one of those stories with no mysterious turns, no surprises, and undeniable predictability. Perhaps even typos and failings of good grammar. Yet we continue reading on.
While many of us enjoy novels and even biographies for entertainment, a good number of us relish the being swept away part…taken into a pleasant atmosphere; an ideal environment…respite from various stressful struggles in each of our unique realities.
Simplicity often finds its way to a needy heart and soul in just such books. The author simply tells his or her story well, with no intent except to bring a spark of hope, maybe a twinkle of light, and a dribble of faith into our lives.
In such stories, there are no murders to figure out, no love triangles, or cliff hangers leading to Book Two. (No criticism of those books meant – I am merely speaking of another kind of book here.)
Instead, we might find ourselves in the midst of a loving family with full acceptance of who we are, gracious siblings, and two parents who are not only kind to their children but also to one another. We want to visit there for a while.
Or we might find ourselves in a dream we aspire to, or have long ago lost and unable to rekindle…dancing in a school play, singing a favorite song without flaw, cuddling a newborn infant, looking out from the top of the Empire State Building, rowing on a peaceful lake, living in a house in the mountains or by the sea, being able to run freely without the burden of chronic pain or limitation. How wonderful to be taken to these places and/or experiences in the midst of our storms.
We all have wishes and dreams dancing around inside of us. And some stories let them dance free, even if just for a day or two. And that is all that such stories do. That is the task of them.
No alluring hook at the end of each chapter, or a clincher at the close of the overall story.
The goal is to bring the reader to a good place for a while. Calm and easy.
The simplicity of good story telling can ‘take’ us to a rainy day in Manhattan, where people gather in cafes and coffee shops sipping hot lattes, ‘tweeting’ and chatting, as yellow taxi cabs rush by. Those not fortunate enough with time to stop, hurry past under colorful umbrellas nearly colliding into one another. It all makes for a cozy kind of rainy day. We linger.
We turn to the next page, and the next…we finish a book that perhaps ends up in the bargain bin of Barnes and Noble because it is not one of the big name authors or an attention grabber that might procure movie possibilities. But it has done its job…for me…maybe for you…the way a simple smile can change the day of the weary recipient.
For this, I write on…