This past week I did my first of a year's worth of storytelling for a local library. I had been off my feet for two weeks after tumbling down the stairs and "couldn't walk". I had planned to actually sit in a chair and force myself to take it easy on this day, but before I knew it, I was strutting in around, having the time of my life. I felt no pain while performing. It is said by Dr.s and Psychiatrists and such folks that our mind is able to overcome the body. Well in the presence of joy it can happen. I have a chronic pain problem and back problems and spend far too much time focusing on the problems on any given day. And here I have this tool in my pocket--Making Other people happy--that I can pull out and use as a balm upon my pain. The fact that they are 3 or 5 years old or 100 yrs old makes no difference. Making others happy makes me happy. And selfishness makes me hurt more. Life is out there just beyond our fingertips some days: the beauty of nature, creating a new song or story, writing to my sister, swimming at the creek, and somehow we keep it just beyond our fingertips. Stories are a way back into making sense of our pain, processing our pain, laughing at our pain, playing with our pain, living beyond our pain. Whether its 25 kids rollicking about the Stinky Cheese Man, or seeing their young beginnings of understanding what transformation is. They are learning through the stories we tell them that a frog, a mouse, a cockroach, a beast, an ugly dwarf all might hide our greatest dreams..princes and princesses and all that. We tell them stories that even in their very young mind are showing the way IN to the place of the spirit, where magic and mystery live. In their lives they are transforming more every day and every year. Will they learn to laugh, to look inside? Will they learn from books, from storytellers? Will they learn from the hardened outside of what they see in their difficult lives? Sorry waxing into overkill.
Last night my husband and I had our dinner out per week. We dressed up nice and went to our favorite Thai restaurant, and we listened to Andy Offet Irwin's story about Chief Know Em All. We laughed. We put the windows down. We kissed. Storytelling has saved me again.