Kurt Vonnegut thought every story has a shape that can be graphed — each has a beginning and an end (plotted on the x-axis) and every character goes through “good fortune” and “ill fortune” (plotted on the y-axis). I put a bunch of them together for this chart in Show Your Work!:
I think our days have shapes, too — each has a beginning and an end, and we go through good and ill fortune as it progresses.
I usually give my days (goofy) titles in my logbook, like this:
But sometimes, riffing off of Vonnegut, I’ll skip the title and just draw a shape, like I did on Father’s Day this year:
Of course, if you extend this thought, and string the days together, it follows that weeks, months, and years, and even lives must have shapes, too.
It suddenly occurs to me that maybe I’m remembering all of this because I’ve been watching Masters of Sex, and they’re always looking at the EKG (or was that EEG?) readouts:
Ha! Anyways, I still like this heartbeat/EKG metaphor. Maybe I’ll do something else with it someday…