Watching "Jaws" while floating in a murky pond at night helps explain why storytelling continues to gain in popularity

I'm often asked why storytelling has become so popular. Why do 500 or more people wrap around the block in hopes of getting inside a bookstore that can only hold 300 people in order to hear ten strangers tell stories. 

There are a few reasons, but this photo speaks to one of them:

Storytelling is ephemeral. You have to be there or you have missed it forever.

Storytelling is appointment-viewing in an age when entertainment is available at any time and anywhere. We record television on DVRs so we can watch the shows when we want. We stream movies on our tablets and phones with the touch of a button. We carry access to millions of songs in our pockets at all times.

Nothing is primal or precious anymore because we can see and listen to our favorite forms of media at anytime, anywhere.    

Storytelling is a singular event. Every time a storyteller takes the stage to perform, it's an important and not-to-be-missed moment because it will never happen this way again. 

Just like watching an outdoor screening of "Jaws" on a big screen while floating with hundreds of other people in inner tubes in a murky pond at night.

These things don't happen everyday.  

The Alamo Drafthouse, in honor of the film's 40th anniversary, hosted an outdoor screening of the film alongside a man-made lake at the Texas Ski Ranch, located between Austin and San Antonio.

I missed this singular moment in time. I missed my opportunity to watch this classic film in a way that it has never been watched before. 

I have missed it forever.

This is one of the reasons - and probably not even the most important reason - why storytelling continues to gain in popularity. It's a must see event that is lost to you forever if you're not willing to line up around the block an hour or two before the show in hopes of finding space against a wall or between two bookshelves in order to hear the stories told onstage.