We are a storytelling society. We love to watch the flickering lights of television open new world to us – exotic places that we have not visited, or people enjoying lifestyles that are not a part of our reality. We listen to and watch the news on social media, getting all of our favourite topics streamed to us conveniently.
There is something that has been forgotten in this world of media, however. That is the art of telling a good, engaging story. Whether you are doing it over a drink, by the fire, or in a written note, spooling out an engaging tale means welcoming someone else into your mind and your heart. It means thinking in terms of the people you’re telling the tale to, imagining them listening to you, reading you, feeling you. It is a wonderful moment of perfect empathy, when you let your heart sing through your words, through your voice. It is a moment to paint pictures with words, to weave a rich tapestry of images that engage and fascinate the people with whom you are sharing the hidden realms of your innermost moments.
You relive the moments of the stories you tell – time becomes circular and you are brought back to the moment that you lived or was lived by father or mother, or whomever shared their experience with you. In the moment of listening, the people you are sharing with feel time collapsing around them, and they relive the moment of the telling. In fact, storytelling makes time circular, each moment of telling looping back to the moment when you were told the story, and looping back again to the moment that person who told you the story heard it first. It is this way that storytelling links us backwards in a golden chain, with each teller a link, until the first moment of telling, generations ago.
Thus, when you tell a new story, and people fall in love with its characters, its rhythm and cadence, you are shooting an arrow into the future, uncertain of where it will land. For if your story become beloved, it will be told and retold, as a theme and in many variations. And your words, and a piece of your heart will ripple out and your laughter and your words will echo forward through the voices of others. Storytelling, when it is human, may procure for you a certain immortality. It a way that you may be remembered and your thoughts become part of our culture’s DNA.
Truly, ask yourself, who will sing of your name, if you haven’t told anyone the stories that animate your heart and your imagination?