Sometimes the story someone is telling, isn't the true story.
All stories are true... I say this, but sometimes, the story being told is covering the true story. The story I'm telling is only one layer of the story, perhaps. Or it's the skin of the Lindorm, and I need a big pot of strong lye and a pile of scrub brushes to get down to the truth.
Do you get what I'm not saying?
Sometimes, I'm smiling and saying how well everything is going, and how good things are, and that is true. And perhaps underneath it all, it is true, deep and shining and secret. But in all the inbetween layers between the skin and the beating, pulsing heart, there is rot and fear and desperation. That is true, too.
I need a pot of lye. I need a stack of scrub brushes and a whole protective wardrobe of nightshirts to get through it sometimes.
There is good news -- I have been selected as a Calof Emerging Artist Fellow by Story Arts of Minnesota for 2014. You can read what that entails on their website. It's a lovely honor, and a gateway into the storytelling community. It is not a job or a grant or a stipend. But it seriously rocks.
So today, when someone tells you their story, and you can see that fear and get a whiff of the rot underneath, know that the shining is waiting within, under the layers. But also know that the layers are true, and really have to be acknowledged.
Tonight was Small Son's Advent Garden at school. A spiral of evergreens, darkness, candles, the quiet strumming of a guitar. He named it at bedtime as his favorite thing of the day. I've watched 14 years' worth of children making the same walk to the center of the spiral, lighting an apple-bound candle, and walking back out, pausing to place the apple along the spiral path.
Five years ago, I made that walk, belly huge and rounded, wondering when I'd meet this child who tonight lit his apple-candle. I'd had contractions off and on all that day. There were three more days before we finally laid eyes on eachother. He had his first spiraling journey to make, out of the darkness. Into the light of this dark time of year.
... and I have awesome news that I have to sit on for a couple of weeks, but it's really cool news, and I'm excited to share it with you. I am not pregnant, nor have we hit the Powerball.
In the meantime, stay warm and safe, you midwesterners! Big snow is on its way, I hear. I have to say, I won't miss the mud...
Oh dear. That reminds
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.