I caught up with an old friend recently.
He gave up his afternoon to help me out and I bought him a cup of tea. We shared stories, thoughts and ideas and I laughed so hard about something I cannot say here. I am grateful for this, our conversation. It reminded me of what I believe is the key to being well, of bringing communities together or changing systems for the better, the art of meaningful conversation and story.
It is so easy to get caught up in the daily tick box of getting through life that we often forget, quickly, of the stuff, that the people we love, our friends, our colleagues, have been or are going through. That is not to say it is deliberate, its the pressure of life to some degree. Listening to Paul today, reminded me of just how strong this guy really is inside. Without speaking for him, I can say last year was beyond what seems fair in life, tragedy after tragedy after tragedy. It would have broken any man, shattered any mountain, brought the world to its knees.
Many of us do not see how strong we really are, we only see how far we think we have yet to go, what still alludes us, what we yet have not achieved.
Storytelling is like the rock at the side of a long winding road, it is what we can climb up on, to rest, on (what feels like) a never-ending journey, it is where we can stand and turn around, to be mesmerized by seeing just how far we have already come, how the darkest part of our life seems much further away than we thought. It gives us a moment to change how we see ourselves and each other. It gives us sustenance and affirmation.
Story renews our faith, quantifies our resilience and empowers us to be able to make it to the next turn in the road. Each rock, each story rewrites our old perception of our selves, the world and our experiences within it. Over time something quite magical happens, we begin to be the rock for another who is on the road behind us.
We are amazing humans at times.
I must apologize that Paul is a little blurry on this picture this is not for any other reason other than my own forgetting to change my camera's focus settings.