Dots

I highly recommend watching the video at the end of the post to see what sparked these thoughts, as they are somewhat at odds with what I posted yesterday. It’s allowed, I’m an Enneagram 4. Ironically, I just read a line from a journal my mother kept for me (from my birth to 4-years-old) that quipped, “But then, you are always a dramatic child.” Yes, mom. To my candle-lit, lilac-loving, treasure-hunting soul.


The secret of a good story is simple: Don’t immediately connect the dots.

Think about all the excellent stories you’ve read or watched. Did you have to know the ending of Harry Potter to be intrigued by the first line? Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

You could have flipped to the last chapter and found out who died and who lived and what became of Privet Drive. But why do that when J.K. Rowling has such command over the English language and the art of storytelling? Why would you spoil the plot when you could trust the author and be led along one page, one sentence at a time.

The irony is that in most cases, with every well-done movie, show or book I can think of, we have all the dots. They’re just not completely connected until we turn the last page or watch the final minutes. So we lean in, engage with the story, anticipate the final unveiling.

Such is our current COVID reality. All the dots are exist. They are revealed in suspenseful succession, one after another, and it’s only in the looking back that we notice just how well they were connected.

True, we can’t fast-forward to the middle of June and learn about the damage to the global economy, or who dies, or what permanent good results from so much upheaval. But why would we want to?

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