Storytelling

Transparency.

Like a drop of rain, the word falls rapidly to the earth, crashing into ever smaller pieces of water until it is no longer a raindrop.

Rain falls fast. Especially around here, and it’s not raining yet, thank God.

The average raindrop moves from sky to land in five to eighteen miles per hour. That is not an unimpressive fact, considering the average human walks about two miles per hour, maybe three if he or she is motivated to walk.

I long for greater transparency in my own home and in my relationships. I appreciate those small moments of truthfulness that spark a fire in one’s spirit. Today I ran with a friend, a lovely and quick mid-day riverfront 5K that brought stories of what we each had been up to during the past month or so, and there was laughter and breath and running. I slowed her down, but that’s ok. It felt so good to be out there and speaking our truths. Not lightly nor deeply – our stories felt just right (to me) for the moment.

During these days of national debate and debacle, I long for truth. I absolutely believe in the leadership of the incumbent party – that is not an issue. But I do wonder about the process. I am a lover of story-telling, but I am a poor story-teller. Each night, my boys ask for a story, and I struggle to come up with something compelling, funny, or heartwarming that will make sense to a five-year-old and a two-year-old. My mind is full of stories, but they aren’t right for them, not just yet, maybe never.

A few months back I asked my father to tell my eldest the story of “The Golden Arm”. At the end, he reached out to startle the listener, and my son was scared.

I don’t like that story! he cried out.  I hugged him and smiled as I remembered many campfire moments when my dad told us that story, stars overhead, coals blazing in the fire circle.

Months later, my son mentions the “golden arm” from time to time and grins as he pretends to be the scarer of the story. He relishes the moment in which he, too, holds the power to scare. He easily moves into comforting the scared (me!) with a gentle hug. The combination of sweetness-scary-spooky is something that we both love.

Though it may bring pain, discomfort, or sorrow to those who listen to my stories, this is my time to tell them. It is my intention that they may also bring hope, and a smile a time or two.

To whomever may be listening, I thank you.

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