Lessons from Cranford

by anketroeder

I was watching Cranford last night, a BBC costume drama based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels. I’m a sucker for BBC costume drama. Drama is where I come from; English novels of the 19th century were one of my major classes at college. I also took Science Fiction classes, and children’s literature. Great blend, really.

Anyway, to come back to what I was saying, there is this one scene in Cranford when Miss Matty, an elderly spinster talks to her niece Mary about Peter, the black sheep of the family, who caused quite a scandal and then disappeared.

As she is telling Mary Peter’s story, she turns off the light (or candles, rather). She finds it easier to talk about her lost brother in the dark. Some stories have more impact if there is nothing to distract us. The same goes for listening.

Have you ever closed your eyes while on the phone so that you could hear the other side better?

Visualization is story telling in the dark. We do not need slides with everything.

Snuff out the candles, now and then (or projector, rather). Words are available light.