I wondered what story would come out of my mouth today so I could be alive in the moment. Yashinsky voiced a Portuguese proverb of "First you listen, then you talk" (p. 24) and Schank said "What story do I know that relates to the incoming story?" (p.61). My ears strained hard to find some sort of connection to stories I knew to see when I could tell.
Even before our group storytelling, I wondered if any of my geared-for-kids/family stories would work for the mood and themes of tonight's program. My eyes went big as I realized that I did not have many thought-provoking stories. Obviously, the stories I have in my repertoire caught my attention in order to tell them in the first place. Yet, I have not pondered deeply over them as we have done for our personal and myth stories in class. I went into a type of panic mode that I would not have any stories "worthy" to tell after all the intense mentoring we have received.
Then one has to wonder--is a story ever perfect? Completed?
I plan to look deeply into each story already in my repertoire and re-discover my fascination for them. Perhaps my lack to do such a thing has led me to the belief that I tend to be plastic and manufactured in my tellings. One of the most "alive" moments seemed to be when I shared Grant's story the first day we went to North Carolina. The second "alive" moment was when I shared the Hephaestus story a couple months ago. Please do not misunderstand that I have not enjoyed telling for an audience before--only that the connection was not as strong as to what I'd like it to be. To keep both the Grant and the Hephaestus story alive, I must always be adding or taking or evolving based on the new experiences I receive in life day by day.
On the drive to North Carolina with Saundra and Sandy, we talked about various stories we knew--none of which turned out to be our selection for the evening. My mind was prompted by many stories that I used to tell during my high school days like "Why the Sea Moans", a folktale, or "Goliath II", a story by Bill Peet about a 6" elephant. I barely remember the plots and the endings have long past escaped my memory. I do know that these stories call to me to revisit them. I also want to explore the Dutch tale of an old woman who burns her own home to save the villagers, though the villagers are unaware of her sacrifice.
I know plenty of stories but it is getting the courage to voice them that is most challenging to me. I will always be working on new stories, too, though I should never take for granted the stories I seem to know already.
As Schank remarked, ". . .if you don't think about something you aren't likely to remember much" (p. 223). Simply thinking about my stories makes them more alive to me.
Until we tell again,