Monday, August 3, 2009


i don't usually use capitals

but the title is in capitals today because more and more i am being prodded to see how essential stories are in our lives.

when i say essential i mean life saving.

not some pretty little add on that you can only make time for if you are a child, or you have a child, or you are a librarian...

but stories are ESSENTIAL, CRUCIAL, VITAL.

We are truely genetically programmed to learn through stories - that is how we learnt as cavemen... we sat around the fire, cramming mastadon into our gobs and hearing about how it was only by creeping up slowly that Ug managed to get close enough to get a good shot...

and so we learned and it was easier next time...

We passed myths from generation to generation because within them lies the meat of our souls...

the clues to the building blocks of who we are as humans

the blueprints for how we get out of sticky messes

of how we are not alone

and that is the crux of it for me...

So many of us in the Western world feel alone.

There are many ways to reach out (which is exactly what i do when i type away here on my couch in New Zealand... hoping to be heard)

and technology can aid that

but the power of story is being lost...

but i was blessed with a storyteller Grandad

and to meet Tanya Batt, a New Zealand Storyteller.. and learn from her about how story is like a stool with 3 legs - one the story, one the story teller and one the audience... how these need to balance and accomodate each other... how it is dynamic and alive -

and TV - as engaging as some stories on there can be (damn it, i even cry at some advertising) it is not alive in that same way...

and now we don't sit around the fire and just tell the story of our day, or the story our grandparents told us...we lose that path to learning - that connection to each other through our humanity....

i had a miscarriage 3 years ago.

It was inutterably sad.

But it was only when i was open about my grief, and our loss that others opened up. I heard how i wasn't alone mourning a child i would never hold in my arms. And within the space of sharing that story both myself and the others i shared with could truely comfort each other. And some of those wounds were decades old, and had never been heard, let out in the light before....

And i hear about people who have a crisis of confidence in their own lives and make radical and often painful changes. And i think if only they spoke to me - i could tell them it is not just them who question so deeply, digging into their souls, that the ordinary parts of their lives seem, for a time at least, meaningless...and then with all that digging new things grow...

And i spent some time with my beloved friends yesterday - people i have formed a bond with, people i don't see every day, but who hear my soul when it talks, or cries or jumps for joy...

And we told our stories.

We were authentic.

Some of it was painful, some hilarious.... but we became joined by our truths and that although we live radically different lives, the same threads of humanity run through our stories, our longings, our secrets, our dreams, our lives both seen and unseen.

this is part of the gift of authenticity, of clarity

but it also the key to being human

Please tell your story.

and thankyou for hearing mine.


  1. When we share stories, we share life.

  2. ABSO-BLOODY-LUTELY bobbie! thanks for popping in!