Sorry if these posts seem a bit truncated lately–it will probably remain that way for the next week as we go through the final push of loading up for the move… that and my oldest son’s National Championship, which happens to fall on the same week.
Anyway, on to tonight’s entry….
Have you ever told your story? It’s an interesting challenge, and one I would encourage you to attempt. How would you tell the story of your life? Or if not your “whole” life, then some part of it–your professional life, your married life, your recovery from an illness.
There’s great power in storytelling–for the ones who hear the story, but also for the teller of the tale. Sketching out the path of your life provides a way of making meaning (or if you prefer: finding the meaning) in our choices and actions. It helps us see where we were, and how we arrived at where we are at. And that path need not be straight. More likely than not, it will look more like the tacking of a sailboat than the flight of an arrow.
I’ve had a number of opportunities to “tell my story” in its multiple versions and flavors. More than a decade ago, a friend and I spent several weeks in a row working through Dan Wakefield”s The Story of Your Life, which is a great tool for exploring your life story in word and image. I haven’t done anything quite that formal in a while, but there is something to be said about incorporating life storytelling into some form of contemplative practice.
Then again, there’s also a lot to be said about those more informal opportunities for storytelling that seem to arise every day, in so many contexts.
I suppose in some ways this blog is telling my story of this year–but at a level of daily insight. Sometimes, though, it helps to step back to see the path and pattern.
And of course, the most interesting thing about a life narrative is that it is an open-ended story.
I share snippets all the time, especially if I feel it would forge a connection with the listener, but am not inclined toward full blown autobiography.