14 September 2010

story collector

for the longest time i wanted to tell stories
i wanted to create characters and plots and themes and symbols and distill them all into words and phrases that could contain the meanings and the sensations and the emotions i conceived in those tales

but then sometimes i wonder
maybe story telling isn't what i do best

maybe rather than the transmitter i am the receptacle.
not the teller, but the told.

and maybe that's why i will sit for hours and listen to (or read or watch) the stories
of friends and family and acquaintances and strangers
maybe that's why sometimes, not knowing why,
i take on the emotions of those others
and i cry when a heart breaks
and laugh at their silliness
and joy in their content
and feel a little closer
to understanding

or a little further away

because sometimes the stories don't make sense
and i can't make them fit into the world i perceive
or the experiences of my life
so limited
confined
that i can only try to imagine what it would be to
lose a grandson to cancer
or watch soldiers die around me
or hunger for food and shelter and warmth
or make the decision to leave the one i love, without wanting to or knowing how

and sometimes i can't imagine
i can't understand

so i listen to the stories i'm told
and hope that with each one i grow closer to seeing
the world and the lives of people, truly,
and to growing space in my heart
to comprehend
and all the things that happen here.

and maybe i will understand enough to tell the stories
and share with others those things i have heard
with grace and beauty

someday.

1 comment:

DandE LAM said...

I looooove listening to your stories...especially this one!!