Not quite accurate
My nephew tells lies. He is four years old, so branding him a “liar” might be a bit extreme, though he does take liberties with the truth. Most of it is your typical caught-in-the-act denial: “It wasn’t me.” “I didn’t do it.” (Sure, kid. We’re all innocent.)
Sometimes, his lie is more elaborate. Like the time we go to his closet for a sweatshirt and, upon choosing, he carefully explains that he has already worn this article all day and it would soon have to go into the laundry hamper. Lie. We just took it off of the hanger, still fragranced by dryer sheet.
I wonder if I am witnessing the beginnings of a story teller. A shuffling of facts, a suggestion of both past and future action, commitment to his message – he is not merely lying; he is creating a new reality.
The Flintstones would love Facebook
Storytelling is an original human imperative. Cave paintings in Europe date anywhere from 10,000 to over 30,000 years old. Music is theorized to have developed during that same pre-historic “renaissance,” occurring around 30,000 BCE (and older); a time when humankind also began making art, developing ceremony, and burying their dead. There was a lot going on, and, consequently, a lot to tell about.
The Latin for communicate is “communico” – which means “to share.” From the everyday prose of journalism to the art of poetry and literature, the purpose is to share and connect. In that sense, WordPress and Facebook are really not that far from fireside oral tradition. The need to both understand and explain our world has propelled humanity from painting on a cave wall to posting on a Facebook wall.
We are bursting to TELL – about the events of our lives, about our preferences and opinions, about art or music we create, and about our journeys. It’s no wonder then that we are equally ravenous to read, see and hear these stories.
The Yin to my Yang
I’ve been thinking a lot about storytelling. About how our blogs, our Facebook pages, CNN.com, local newspapers, and YouTube tell a spectrum of stories, from what my high school classmate ate for dinner to how a tsunami washed a Japanese man and his home out to sea. (He was picked up nine miles from shore, clinging to a piece of his roof.)
We tell stories to instruct, persuade, inform, and entertain. Because we want to learn, make a choice, be included and amused. The storyteller is the Yin to the audience’s Yang. This relationship fascinates me.
I want to create a new reality for myself and storytelling is the fabric of my process. When we know what we want to say and how we want to say it, our story begins. The complicated landscape of life fills in the chapters and verses. A simple story can bring us comfort, whether we’re telling it or hearing it.
And, because we are so connected by more than that “share” button, I want to help others tell their stories. In that new reality, where I’ve changed my life and am living creatively, storytelling will be at the center.