During the winter, our friends Phyllis and Harvey came to visit us in the Berkshires for a skiing weekend. As Harvey and I were riding up on the chairlift together, I characteristically began telling a story that connected that moment in time to some event in my past. This is what I do; I tell stories or relate memoir monologues, if you will.I completed my story, and Harvey said, “Wow! I think that’s one I never heard before.” The comment brought me up short. What was he implying about my storytelling?
I like to think my stories are all interesting both to me and to my listener. Not always the case. I also like to think the stories are in their first telling to my audience and are not recycled. Also not always the case, as Harvey’s comment seemed to show. Sadly, these days the recycling seems to be overtaking the new telling. Which has sparked a great fear in me. Could I be running out of stories!
This could be a serious problem for me. I’m reminded of an old joke. (Don’t stop me, if you have heard it before.) “What do you call a fly when its wings are removed? A walk (rim shot).” So, what do you call a storyteller whose well of stories is drying up? The answer depends on how determined and insistent the storyteller is. I like to think I am both.
I have taken a few months off to deal with more pressing matters, but I am determined to get my mojo back and to get back into the storytelling racket! It’s a matter of finding some new stories to tell or some new audiences to tell the old ones to. Either would work as far as I am concerned. So I am not really concerned about running out of stories. What worries me is whether I can find an audience for my new or old stories and whether I can convince the audience I find to listen—at least as long as it takes to reach the top of a ski mountain or to get to the end of a blogpost.