Water over the Bridge

January 5th, 2010


The proverbial ‘they’ has insisted for quite some time that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in doing so they have short-changed both the picture and the human mind. Regardless of the arbitrarily imposed limit of one thousand words, the point is well taken that the mind immediately conjures a story upon viewing a picture. Though there is often an obvious story, each is as unique and personal as the course a daydream takes as it pinballs through the mind.

If the story is not obvious, if the picture is abstract or unrecognizable, the mind is nonetheless stimulated into storytelling of one variety or the other, either with interest or with disdain (though the two are not mutually-exclusive), imagining perhaps the story of the person who would create such an image, the person who would appreciate such an image, or even the janitor who has to clean around said image on a daily basis (if it hangs in a museum) and how fortunate, or unfortunate, this janitor is that his fate as landed him in the daily vicinity of such an image.

broken bridge“Bridge the Gap” is not intended as a writing exercise or some sort of party game (although, given the right images and the appropriate beverages, I can imagine that it could liven many parties I have attended recently). Rather, its purpose to take the reader on an unexpected journey. The pictures are the ingress and egress of a story born when the two images meet, celebrating the synergy of words and images.

 Though no one satisfactorily bridged the gap the first time around, this is in no way an indictment on the intrepid writers who attempted it. Standards are high, expectations are murky and stakes are low. Each time a bridge fails, the previous $50 is added to the last. The next bridge, currently posted, will be worth $100. Happy Writing.

 M.E. Parker, Editor
Camera Obscura Journal

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