It’s hard for old storytellers to tell their stories around this new digital fireplace because the medium demands brevity to meet today’s short attention spans. If you can’t summarize what you have to say in a Tweet or 2-minute YouTube video you won’t get heard; but there are some stories that can’t be summarized.
I can hardly clear my throat in 30 seconds much less set the stage and tell the story; we don’t sit around campfires much anymore watching the dancing flames weave their stroboscopic magic that ignites our imagination…and the stories I tell don’t lend themselves to such abbreviation, they are tales about the eternal existential questions …what is life’s meaning and purpose? Such stories don’t lend themselves to short, easy answers.
Stories are the vehicle through which a culture transmits its values. Our survival as a species is not transmitted through our DNA but through our stories. Stories, myths, legends help us make sense of the life’s ordinary struggles and its catastrophes. Those tales have simply become less believable in an age when justice, honor, and sacrifice have become an archaic myth, when what’s right and wrong is determined solely by what you can get away with.
We need to be telling better stories and come together as a community that respectfully listens to each other’s stories. The Talking Circle Project is based on the Native American Talking Circle; we come together ceremonially to create a healing community that reminds us we are not alone on the journey. Each of us has a story to tell that somebody else needs to hear and each of us need to be listening to the stories of others because they help us make sense of our lives.
I will tell a story and introduce a topic, and then I’ll pass a sacred object around. When you are holding it, that’s your chance to speak. Everyone gets an opportunity, nobody will interrupt you with questions or make interpretations.
Join me around this new digital fireplace:
Tuesday Feb. 13 @ 6 PM MST