On Story Telling
When I was little, like quite little, 7 or 8 maybe, I used to make up stories for Mika while we rode in the car.
They were rubbish stories, non-sensical, rambling masterpieces that only really entertained us, and would not have made sense to anyone else.
Then I wrote stories my entertainment as I grew older.
Small projects that I would set myself and publish with bright covers and illustrations.
Or gifts for family members that held more value in effort than content.
And then eventually, I started writing in secret.
Well, not secret as such, but not for anyone to see.
Epic sagas and grand novels that would no doubt change the world, as long as I could get pen to paper fast enough.
Complex plots and parallel stories that ran alongside one another, only to end in a massive (and predictable) reveal.
Then I wrote moody, poetic pieces, minimalistic fragments, heavy with symbolism and middle-class angst.
I desperately tried to write beauty, zen, purity.
Philosophy overwhelmed me.
Rimbaud was God.
And then I stopped.
I’m not sure why.
But I really stopped writing stories.
The closest I got to writing stories again, was a brief foray into creating picture books for adults.
Which was really more about the illustrations.
I think perhaps I was scared of not being a “real writer.”
Perhaps because I had become too focused on the writing, rather than the story telling.
Now, being a story teller - that’s much less intimidating.
In fact, telling stories of any kind is one of my favourite past times.
Except for one problem.
I’ve kind of forgotten how to do it.
I used to have so many stories in my head, I didn’t have time to write them all down.
Now, the only stories I feel like I have are recounts of true experiences.
But somehow here in the desert, with the local people, I am drawn back to stories.
It’s been a while, but I wonder if I can remember how to do it.
I’m reading a book at the moment called “The Women Who Run With Wolves”, and the writer says
“Stories are medicine. I have been taken with stories since I heard my first. They have such power, they do not require that do, be, act, anything - we only need to listen.
Here in the desert, when there is really nothing else but the dry earth and the stars, I think have enough space to come up with a story.
Perhaps I am ready to tell stories again.