Interstitial (storytelling II)

July 24, 2019
July 24, 2019 AllisonM

Interstitial (storytelling II)

How these topics are falling into place is some kind of poeticism. Just as I’m thinking about what the new stories are, here is this word. I’ve been thinking all day about the stories we tell. What are the old ones, what are the go tos? How many times have we been asked to tell our stories and how do we tell them? We all have one we relate over and over – but what do we leave out? What do we say that’s true? What do we say that isn’t? What is the narrative that we live by? What is the narrative that defines us?

Dinner with a new but already treasured friend. An exchange of histories, thoughts, projects, ideas. I try to think about being mindful when I speak, especially to someone who I don’t know very well, but with those we gravitate toward there is an affinity and ease that allows the dropping of the guard. I only teared up a couple of times.

I do that a lot lately. I do that out of utter disbelief and gratitude that I am here and get to experience this bright and beautiful world, these bright and beautiful people who surround me.

I am making a concerted effort to NOT DO right now. I have done enough for the moment. It has taken me a lifetime to get here, to this place where I can whisper to myself, “rest now.” Rest, for me, doesn’t look like nothing, rather like reading, examining the holes on the leaf of a pepper plant, sewing on and finishing an Alabama Chanin swing skirt, standing in the yard with the dog, sitting on the patio with my son and watching the birds, talking to my friends — those are active things, and they are what life is made of. The big things are seismic activity, shaking the ground underneath our feet and reminding us of the stillness we want to get back to when we’re taken off balance. In stillness I find the part of me that is able to tear up at the sight of something beautiful. That is the marrow I want to bite.

So when we tell our stories, why don’t we speak about the books we read, the plants we grew, the sewing we sewed, the standing in the yard with the dog we did, the sitting on the patio with our children? Are those not the real highlights? Imagine one of those bios you read about this person or that, which lists all of their professional accomplishments and degrees, etc., and at the end gives their spouses and children’s names.  Now think about how it might hit you if it read differently — if it informed you of how many walks they took, how many cups of coffee they had with their best friend, how many times they visited their uncle at the nursing home, how much they loved their wife, and then at the end, briefly listed the degrees and jobs — just a thought. 

What is the most important part of a story?

Happy Wednesday, Y’all