Last night we stayed up late with the wine telling stories. The ginger ice cream and cardamom cake was long gone and about twenty of us set around the table telling stories of our live’s work and why we chose to be the creative people we are. Above all the theme was, ‘why do we tell stories?’
And up until last night I didn’t really have a good answer. Oh, I could’ve told you something inspiring which, no doubt, sounded good enough for a grant application or scholarship essay. Stories change you, this is true and it would be exactly what I would have said when asked the question. But as several others were set around table, their forearms pressed into the wood’s edge, many of whom were weeping because of their privilege to make a living telling stories it occurred to me, stories are as close as some of us get to touching the divine.
In a world where we are convinced that things are haphazard, that we are little more than dancing atoms bumping into each other at random, stories whisper in our ear that there is a point to it all. There is meaning in death and life, a larger reason as to why I couldn’t find two socks that matched this morning, and the reassurance that although my heart might be breaking now, it will be for the best in the end. In hearing a story we are allowed, if only for a moment, to have a divine perspective on events, so that we can then return to our own life fortified in the belief that, in the end, our life will mean something as well. In the end the struggle and strain will have a ending that will make it all worthwhile.
I am blessed enough to get glimpses of the enteral perspective most days. My faith is intertwined with my occupation, both as a writer and an actor, so that my perception of God and the meaning of life grafts itself in to my vocation, so that they become inseparable. I am always seeing confirmation that there is more out there and that it all connects, but it never dawned on me that these revelations are uncommon for most. If I hear rumors of another world, it is me job to interpret them into a language which others can not only hear, but also be receptive towards. As a someone who hears the music of the spheres, I tell stories to let everyone else know that the music is real, it is out there, and it supports everything we do on this earth.
Later that night, when I crawled into bed, exhausted, I thought of my father taking dictation for my at age three because I could not write, helping me put on plays for when my mother came home from working the late shift, and encouraging me almost daily, to write down and process as much as I could. Later, a teacher would call this entire process ‘spinning life into verse,’ but for now I am just a child putting on plays and making books out of old computer paper with the perforated holes on either side. And I realize even back then I was meant to be telling the stories I tell, in the multitude of ways I get to tell them. Even back then I was hearing things from another world, telling me that my own story could not go any other way.