On Storytellers and Storytelling
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I’ve been thinking a lot about how we tell stories. The ways we share our culture, our values, our ideas. I (like many people) was raised in a time and place where ‘storyteller’ was made synonymous with ‘liar’ or even ‘charlatan’. Stories were for children, drunkards, or other devalued people. I must admit that I was more often ashamed of being a storyteller than proud of it. It’s taken me five decades to recognize this and to recognize the true value and importance of stories and storytelling – two things that despite my efforts to make myself something else, I am and have been constantly wrapped in. Only recently, have I embraced the mantle that has always defined me. I am a storyteller. Imagine my surprise when last night, on a chilly night in Hawaii – I pulled out a blanket I bought years ago at an estate sale, put in a box and forgot about. I don’t know that I ever actually ‘looked’ at it. I bought it simply because it was an old Pendleton Wool Indian Blanket and had $$ value – but I didn’t sell it. Never even tried. I simply carried it thousands of miles, unaware of it. In a box, in a pile of blankets and rugs. Last night I pulled it out – to keep off the chill. Imagine my surprise to find the label sewn on which reads
“Keep My Fires Burning. A tribute to Elders and Storytellers. In recognition of the important role Elders and Storytellers fill in passing on to future generations the customs, beliefs, and history of their culture”
I’m simply blown away. It’s my new favorite thing – and – it is epic in it’s woven beauty.
I can already tell you that one of my resolutions for 2023 and my 51st year is to embrace being a storyteller and telling stories. I can’t wait to share more with you.