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Stories anchor us in place, time, context

With just a few words, or pictures, we can imagine ourselves into some other place, separated from us somehow by time or distance. A memory of a quiet morning walk along a quiet quayside, perhaps. In that sense, our stories can anchor us in place, time, context.

Yet although the real anchors there are the facts of the story, those things that we experience as facts – the boats, the smell of the sea, the clink of the rigging, seagulls squabbling over some scraps of fish, the gentle whisper of small waves rippling below us along the quay-wall – the facts alone are not enough. The story comes from how we link these facts together – how we perceive it as a whole, as a story.

An anchor isn’t much use without the anchor-chain.

It’s not only the images or words, then, that make a story – that anchor us in the story. A comment from Christina Baldwin might help here: “Words are how we think; stories are how we link”. Think, perhaps, of some of the metaphors we might use here: we’d talk about weaving a story, a thread of conversation, a chain of reasoning. It’s all about links, connections; meaning that arises from those connections, and because they connect.

So as you capture and review within your Zahmoo story-bank your stories of family, community or business, pay attention to the links, the threads, the weaving:

  • use descriptive tags in the story-record, to record the metadata that anchors each story in place, time and context
  • use links to connect between stories, to weave a stronger net of meaning

Use these tools within Zahmoo to help you manage your stories: those connections are the anchor-chains for the anchors of your story.

Image credit: Anchored, I think by Eoin Gardiner under a Creative Commons BY-2.0 licence.

July 21st, 2012 by Zahmoo
Filed in: For Business, For Community, For Family
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Zahmoo is a story bank for collecting and sharing your family and business stories.