The Storyteller Conundrum


I ask a lot of questions, and I like to know why.

People we meet here in this town are eager and willing to tell their stories. They talk and they talk, and I listen and listen. And I ask questions, lots of questions.

I like the talkers. They let me ask my questions. They let me understand. They let me in.

In a certain moment and in a certain company, I’m the talker. So I feel comfortable and relaxed when someone else is doing all the talking. I can just let go and listen. It ignites my creativity.

The individual stories of each of us make up the collective story of all of us, and it is this that makes for the most interesting tale of all. The truth.

I bleed for the truth in whatever state it is in at any given moment. I seek to understand. To know. To uncover. To reveal the true meaning. I yearn to take it in. To absorb. I want to taste it all.

And I want to capture it.

I must.

I have this aching need to capture the intricate beauty of each moment, regardless of its glitz or its glamour, and when I do not, tension twists uneasily inside of me. All of the moments left “uncaptured” start to pile on top of each other, and every idea I don’t go after or story I don’t tell sits erect in my mind, poking at my thoughts, reminding me of its existence and its need to be realized.

Overwhelm takes over. I freeze.

I need to sneeze. It won’t come.

Oh, the “war of art,” as Pressfield calls it.

I see the story in everything, and the true story is something so real and beautiful and raw. Telling it is somehow necessary for me to feel like I am doing my duty in this world, yet I feel uncomfortable with the task.

I’m a cliché, a stereotype, and I haven’t yet reconciled what I am with what I think I should be. I am embarrassed or ashamed of some part of who and what I really am, maybe my truest part, and I keep close what deserves to be set free.

Why?

It doesn’t matter what I think I should be. I am here to serve a purpose greater than my own significance. I have a job to do. A duty. A gift to give. I either will or I won’t. And you, too, either will or will not, for you have your own art to contribute and your own ego to battle and your own time to manage and self to reconcile and life to live and stories to tell.

And this, this is our story.

 

4 comments

  • I too am fascinated by stories. Whether listening to them or telling them. I question people and often, because of my interest in them, a beautiful and exciting thing happens. They open up and share a part of their life that otherwise I would never have known about. This makes my life richer and fuller. Some simply amazing things have happened to me, ( other than being attacked by a moose last summer ) which I am grateful for every day. You have a way of expressing a thought so simply on the surface, then deftly sliding open the door to introspection. You question yourself as much as you question others. That’s how we arrive at wisdom’s door. I especially like the picture, there’s a lot going on there. Thank you !

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  • My dog Kate and I were in Grand Lake Co. I bought a sandwich and we went down to a day use area on the lake to eat and relax. On the way out on the trail a bull moose jumped in front of us and charged. I let Kate go, she ran under a picnic table. I turned and tried to slide under the table and he hit me. Like a truck, black and blue and yellow for weeks. Lucky to be alive. You know what? How many people do you know that have been hit by a moose and lived to tell about it. Wouldn’t trade that day for anything.

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