In every story there is life and in every life there is a story.

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Development of a Story
By Ryan Garcia

Do you remember those conversations when we were told we just needed to be patient, that in time it would all make sense? They were by far my favorite moments in life (insert sarcastic smirk)! Or better yet, “you just need to ask for patience, but be careful what you wish for, because sometimes you won’t like the outcome.” I remember talks with my grandfather about faith; how he just lived knowing that no matter what, God would provide. He knew that he just had to be patient with God and in time, God would provide what he and my grandmother needed. Most of us don’t like the parallels of time and patience. With the ability to just “Google it”, buy it now, and thumb-up it, we have developed a lack of time and patience. We no longer like the development process that comes with life. If we could just narrate our life stories to our children on how we met their mother, had that dream job without the leg work, enjoyed the finer things in life without having to…wait for it…live life.

I remember before the digital age of camera’s and 32GB memory cards, film was developed. The development process was primarily hidden from us, unless we had access to a darkroom.  In high school I was part of a program that focused on this, along with other academic creative technologies. It is interesting to look back on the program and see how far it has advanced. It has grown from the janitor’s closet to an actual classroom. The classroom environment is neither here nor there, but one of the courses I remember is the development process of photos and screen plate making. All of which took place in a darkroom, which required time and patience. The only light allowed in the room was a safe light that gave the room a red glow. Exposure to any other light would damage the film.  Once inside the room, you found a large rectangular sink with various trays. In developing black and white images only four trays were used: the developer, stop, fixer and rinse (developing color required a few other trays). Each tray contained a chemical compound that is crucial in the development of the photo. The developer was responsible for developing the image; the stop is to stop the active development, the fixer to finalize the image in its current state and lastly the rinse to wash off any remaining chemicals. Now aren’t you glad you can just point, shoot and click now? I can hear my photographer friends now “it takes more than that to be a photographer!”

It’s funny when we come to realize that even though we have the perfect picture set-up, the lighting is just right, the focus is crisp and you know the colors are just going to pop when you print it, something always goes wrong. Someone blinks, there’s that mysterious shadow, or there is always that one person who likes to hide behind someone’s shoulder. In the viewfinder, everything looks perfect. It isn’t until we start developing that we find the flaws, the hurt, the uncertainty, the heartache, the regrets, the fear, the insecurities. It isn’t until we allow ourselves to be developed that we find what makes us. You might read this and have no inclination to the belief or acknowledgement of any god. You might say: if God was real and He really loved me why did _____ happen? Why did my aunt die? Why did my parent’s divorce? Why did my child die? Why? In the viewfinder, we only see what is happening in front of us. We may not like being placed in the tray that requires time and patience, but there is no other person I would want handling my faults, hurts and fears than God. I can’t speak for everyone, but I do know this, that even in the darkest areas of our lives, the light shines through. Your story is far from being over, it has just begun its development. The process may require some time, some patience and some more tough moments but when we finally reach the last tray, the end result…wait for it…is going to be amazing. There is life, in your story.