Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Stories - it is only the beginning

"Taos Storytellers" by RC Gorman.
This morning I followed links from blog to blog, looking in on others who write because writing is at or very near the top of their Things That Matter list. I am not a marathon blog-reader; being too long on the computer makes me tired, though I no longer suspect it sucks energy from my eyes and fingertips to keep itself running. In the time before I drooped, I found five or six self-assigned correspondents who are filing dispatches from the field. The too-random sampling - it would never withstand the scrutiny of market researchers - assured me that thinking has not gone completely out of fashion.

We are our stories. I learned this in a fiction writing workshop 25 years ago, as each of us wove fact into the pieces we shared. Sometimes they were undisguised accounts of other days. How can we know that much of what we call fiction isn't the same? Today's discoveries felt like open-mike night at the Contemplative Cafe. Not just the stories and the clarity with which they were told, it was more the way encounters, moments and conversations were interpreted. Finding meaning in the ordinary is not a common practice; being able and willing to transfer that meaning from one situation to another is even more rare.

It took me months to build myself a compelling argument in favor of starting a blog. Then it took me considerably longer to recognize this as an act which I took seriously, to commit to writing a minimum number of posts each month, to produce something of substance as often as possible. There are days when the best that can be hoped for is just passing along some information.

A quiet life viewed thoughtfully is as rich as any mad, character-filled escapade. My earlier years were generously populated, active, textured and, I believe, deliver the chewy parts of my assorted tales. The more recent era, the age of sitting and being still, has - I hope - given me perspective and an ability to see the bigger picture.

Today I left only a few comments; I will return and leave more. Where it is an option, I'll sign on as a follower or request e-mail notification of new posts. In trying to offer a comment that matches the honesty and wisdom of the post, I can become mute and need time to gather my wits. The do-si-do of blogging and commenting throws us into a whirl of new connections, the opportunity to be mutually gracious - and appreciative - and stretches what we once thought of as our somewhat narrow worlds.

In my bag of tricks, stories are my greatest treasure. I assume the same is true for many others. Each turn of the shovel unearths fresh artifacts; the view from a Sierra highway, eating ice cream late at night, a phone call that shifts the planet on its axis, a birth, a death. My wish is that words find me, expanding themselves into stories, then lifting into the winds which will bear them far from home.

5 comments:

Lisa H said...

I look forward to every "story" that leaves your pen/lips.
One of the many things that I love about you is that your normal communication, your "everyday speech" sounds like it was written by the sharpest team of writers. Your simple turn of phrase can reduce me to tears, applause and laughter. I have but one request: never stop.

Writing Womb said...

This is a wonderfully written post; very thoughtful and poignant. I love that you can get your point across in such an engaging way.
I look forward to reading more from you. Thanks for stopping by, I am happy you think I write better than any rock you have come across so far ;o)
Have a great day

Robert the Skeptic said...

I started blogging simply because I had all these thoughts rolling around in my head (and because my daughter was doing it and I enjoy the competition for humor with her).

The tough thing for me is deciding whose blog to read... there are so many. Humor attracts me, as does something relevant to say, or poignant. Anyway thanks for dropping by mine. I hope I can keep it interesting.

Penny said...

Reading the news tells us about events. Blogs tell us about artists and poets, readers and thinkers, joys and amusements, hilarity and depth of feeling, shadow-sheer thoughts and profound life events.

And like Lisa, I look forward to reading your posts.
♥♥♥

Laoch of Chicago said...

Nicely expressed!