There’s a tall overpass near my home. I cross it every morning on my way to work. It’s a graffiti free, homeless ignored, sterile grey overpass. It’s only distinctive factor, and I use distinctive in the loosest sense, is a chain link fence that runs the length of the overpass. Even the chain link fence is unassuming. Well, it was unassuming. This morning, while zipping across the overpass heading to work in Sacramento, I noticed a huge gash in the chain link fence. It was an enormous hole through which I could see the steep embankment on the other side.
I was late to work, so I was driving quickly. I took this scene in for less then a second. As a accelerated away I thought, “Wow. I hope the person driving survived the accident.”
I realized, however, I had no idea if an accident did occur. I was speculating, from…what? A missing fence? There wasn’t a Roseville ambulance, tire tracks, or hazard cones. There wasn’t anything to suggest some car rocketed over the curb, and tore through the fence. I was just making up a story, and I had not even tried.
The missing fence was a nice reminder we are all very capable of sitting back and creating a story. We don’t need to consciously butt in, elbow our unconscious out of the way, and say, “we’ll take the story from here.” I’ve done it though! I’ve stood on stage, during improv shows, trying to make something up, manually construct something brilliant. "I can make comedy! I will make incredible theater!" It didn’t happen. Our unconscious brains want to put the pieces together, to figure things out. We should step aside more often, and let our instincts, “take the story from here.”