Thursday, March 11, 2021

Tell Me Your Stories

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a teacher.  I have been asking for stories.  I want to know their stories.  I want to know about the stories that have affected them.  I was talking with the Pastor and he was asking me for a story.  I really didn't have one for him because sometimes you just have a series of events, not a story, or a narrative.  He tells me that it all becomes story.  Sometimes you can't tell the story while you are living it.  Sometimes you have to develop the story till it comes to a chapter break.  

I have asked my students to tell me their stories.  They don't want to tell me.  They write one sentence stories of events.  I ask myself the purpose of them telling their stories.  First of all, I want them to realize that they have stories to tell.  The telling of these stories helps air out the dirty laundry taking up residence in the closet of their psyches.  You heal a wound by letting it air out till it develops a scab, no?  

Some of the other students do tell me some stories but you can tell that I have asked a lot of them.  They don't know how to set up a story.  They don't know how to include details.  They lack the ability to raise the action to the climax and the denouement.  Furthermore, they can't tell me why they have considered this story.  Forget about their own personal stories, any story.  Tell me a story.  It is hard for them.

I am a story teller teacher.  I tell stories to illustrate my point.  I show interesting animated shorts to demonstrate big concepts.  I tell them about my life.  I tell them about the lives of the people that I have met.  I change the names sometimes.  I have had some students hear my stories over and over again and not complain.  Poor guys!!!  Is this some type of talent that I am not aware of?  Is it not normal for people to tell their stories?  I truly don't know.  

I think I need to work on listening.  Tell me your stories.  Let me practice listening with you.  Write to me emails filled with your prose.  Message me your favorite jokes.  I wonder what are the stories too dark to tell that poison your thoughts and your dreams.   Okay, don't tell me.  But tell that story out loud to God.  Write them down on pages in a journal and burn them.  Don't let those dark ugly stories infect more of your life.  Maybe, if you are brave, you can tell your story to someone and there is every possibility that that person can tell their story and we can find strength in being human together in this world.  

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