January 17, 2012

The telling of stories

Ive been absent from the blogging roundabout for the last couple of weeks except for my post about pancakes. I began to worry that Id lost my capacity to sit and concentrate for longer than 12 seconds. Holidays with kids can do that – all I want to do is sleep, drink coffee, watch bad TV and hang by the pool…oh wait thats what Ive been doing!

I put it out to the twittersphere tonight that I was worried I had lost the will to blog and the lovely Marnie came straight back telling me to write about my lost words. And so thats what Im doing.

Im in the last stages of a book on my holiday reading pile that explores the trauma of peoples lives, fictionally. The story sounds incredibly familiar to me. I’m not sure if, as a social worker, Ive just been exposed to so many similarly horrific stories or if its been lifted from a real life story with just a bit of tweaking to make it non identifiable. Regardless of how it came about it makes me a little uncomfortable as it starts to cross that imaginary line between fiction and real life. Its isn’t escapism its stark realism.

In the early stages of my blog I latched on to some creative writing tasks to get my fingers moving. I guess I passed off these fictional attempts as just that – fiction – but to be honest most of them were true stories about me just crafted into small pieces that maybe someday could be glued together as the basis of a short book. A girl can dream.

In the telling of stories we share tiny bits of our soul. I have been able to share a lot of spaces with people as they tell me about parts of their lives – the intricate tapestries that brought them to where they are. Yesterday I felt that I had stepped back in time. I met with some people that I had knew from my working world many moons ago. People who by trauma or misadventure got to meet me and in turn I got to sit with them when they heard the worst news any person could ever hear. They shared their story with me and they continue to do so. It sounds ironic but I guess having this blog makes me wary of sharing of stories from your own vault because each time a little piece escapes so does the anonymity and the solitude that comes from working through it in peace, in your head.

Some days I feel that all I am is one big repository of stories but maybe instead of thinking of it as a hindrance maybe I’m just one big book with lots of real stuff to tell.

Im hoping that this year gives me more chances to tell more, to hear more and learn more and I wonder how many more faces, names and stories will continue to leave little reminders on my soul. Only time can tell.

Are you a story teller or a story keeper?

 

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. I like to tell stories, not so much my own though. There are certain very personal stories I’ve shared, but the process of sharing was cathartic so even though it terrified me to share, it felt better having written it and having other people read it.
    I actually long to write non-fiction about other people’s lives, the thought of revealing myself through my writing is something I’m not entirely comfortable with.
    Welcome back. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Beautiful work Sarah and wow – what an interesting question!

    I think I am a story teller. I feel that if people know your story, their ability to be sensitive and understanding is increased. Ironically though – the vast majority of my closest friends are very much story keepers.

    It reminds me of a poster I keep seeing on Pinterest: BE KIND. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle

    I love reading other people’s stories. I love finding out what informs certain behaviours and reactions.

    Reply
    • I think Im a mix between the two…but I think Im becoming more of a teller. Maybe my listening bank was full for a while there!

      Reply

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Loss, Mental health

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