In a meeting with a business client, I was asked about why I combine words and images with all of my writing. Several people remarked on how innovative it was to see the combination – and how good it felt!

Storytelling by combining words and images together goes back at least 40,000 years. Yet, in the West, this combination only continues in certain venues. As I was researching various fields and exploring their varied sources, I reflected on how modern advertising has successfully used the power of combining images with words: emotion with intellect. How often, for example, do you see an ad that doesn’t have a photo or video? And then there’s the media and the web. Yet, in many business settings, images are considered unnecessary or distracting. 

When we are learning to read and to love it, virtually all books have lots of pictures, simultaneously telling the story that goes with the words. Yet, somewhere around the mid-elementary grades, this practice of combining words and images begins to evaporate. Whatever the reason for the separation, integrating them again is both relevant and powerful. Together, they form a whole that helps us more deeply understand ourselves, each other, the world around us, and our purpose for being here on earth.


Photo by Barbara
Hidden Lakes
Minneapolis, MN.