Learning storytelling from my parents

My parents are both storytellers.

My dad makes everyday life seem epic, with sound effects and humour. He embellishes tales to make them more dramatic. He tells stories in conversation, and is often the center of attention in a large crowd.

My mom keeps the stories of generations, revealing unexpected connections with grandparents or great-grandparents. She tries to stick as close to the truth as she can remember. She tells stories in intimate conversation and through her writing. I look forward to our weekly Skype conversations because of the mix of stories she shares: some about the past, some about recent adventures.

I’m really lucky that my parents both love telling stories.  Growing up, I saw how the stories they told inspired and energized and connected people. Good stories don’t have to have morals, points, or storybook villains threatening to destroy the universe. Sometimes a slice of life can make an unexpected connection.

I want to learn how to tell stories like that. My sister Kathy tells stories like my dad does, and I tell stories like my mom. I want to get better at saving and telling stories, particularly the difficult ones, and writing is my way of remembering.

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  • In this age of multi-media, it’s not so difficult to grab a camcorder, a multi-terrabyte external drive and start recording. I know you might be averse to this, but consider the following. By putting ink on paper, you’re attaching information which is inherently mass-less to something that actually has mass: thus preventing it from being able to travel at the speed of light and being replicated seemingly without cost. Replication enhances sharing. Sharing increases the size of your ministry.. (OH WOW… The Church of Sacha)… and brings us closer to the Noosphere envisioned by Pere Teilhard de Chardin.

    I tell stories the way your dad does. And wish I had started recording my grandfather’s stories to share with the clan (the Carloses, Lichaucos and the Guzmans)…

  • Video is fine, but it’s not very searchable with current technology, and it tends to require real-time playback. ;) I take video or audio recordings of my dad’s stories whenever I can, but I suspect my mom’s blog posts will be easier for me to recall in the future. Lots of different ways to do things, though!

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