I find the art of storytelling fascinating.
That you can spellbound people with a narrative is fascinating to me. But, also, someone can write a story so bad not only does it not make sense, the sentences run long (like this one), seem fragmented, disjointed, meandering, and poorly constructed that you simply want to drop it like a water balloon off a 10 story building.
Why stories? Because we wrestle with questions. We’re unsure. We have conflict. For example, I’ve held off from writing this post as it’s a very daunting task. Am I capable of writing about storytelling? If not I, who is? And why are they? Our fears drive deep into us —they darken us, they hold us back, restrain, overwhelm, and freeze us. It’s like that time when you were in a group and had something really insightful to share and froze — all because you were searching for the right words, second-guessed yourself, and stuttered. And that was the end. You were done at that point, there was no recovering.
But that story could also take a different spin. Perhaps it was the time took a untrodden path and did speak up. The time you volunteered and spoke up. You acted upon your knowledge. You made a difference in that person’s life. Where they were unsure…where they were confused, perplexed, worried — you were their savior. Whether you realized it or not, you made a difference in their life. In the darkness of the past emerged light. From the dark days of winter, spring burst forth into a flowery array of radiant colors and spectacles of glory.
It’s within this story arc we find redemption. We find purpose. Tucked away in the narrative of someone else we find ourselves. We live in community. It’s inside the ability to relate to others which shows us our path forward.
There’s something tangibly beautiful in storytelling. Perhaps it’s there’s a lesson, a moral, an education that brought us learning and skills to be a better person. However, I think it’s more than that. It’s our next door neighbor describing us. It’s seeing ourselves through a different lens. A great story really does come together in a semblance of meaning, identity, and illuminating someone else’s perspective that’s truly real to us.