Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blogging as storytelling

Blogging is many things to many people. It is keeping people up to date, it is carving out a space of fame (but sadly, probably not fortune). It is a record of what was going on in your life at any given moment, or even a portfolio to send prospective employers to. It's networking. We blog because we can, because we like to, and because it's there.

We blog for all of these reasons, and for one reason more.

We are storytellers.

From the first breathy recordings we have of me as an almost three year old, with a wicked Brooklyn accent, recounting the events of my day (and then... and then... and then...) up until thirty-cough years later, I am a storyteller. I have been telling stories since I could, both because I love to hear my own voice and because I love to talk to people after I tell my story. There's the one about the guy with the infected tattoo on the overnight bus in Argentina, the one about the giant sow that surprised me on an island off the coast of Honduras walking down a narrow path, the trip to a Mexican restaurant in West Virginia, where one patron explained to another what a tohr-TIL-a was (it's like braid, but it's rouhnd). I love these stories, one and all. Other people might have a sixpack of stories, or maybe even a dozen. I have a flat of them. And when that flat is exhausted, there's another flat waiting below, like a never ending supply of farm-fresh eggs.

Blogging can be many things to many people. For me, it's a place to share with you my great love of storytelling and my great love of hearing other people talk and meeting other storytellers and listening to their great collection of tales.

One egg at a time.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree. In fact, I have come to think of those of us who live overseas as sort of traveling minstrels. Whenever I'm "home," I find myself going for dinner or coffee with people and telling my stories. I started my blog to cut down on the amount of stories I had to fit into one two-hour coffee time! :)
And you know you have to tell us those stories now! An infected tattoo??

Nimble said...

Sometimes I wish I could get a job eavesdropping on buses. People tell really great stories on buses... I love listening to a voice and hearing all the things that make it unique. Storytelling is the whole point of language it's how we reach across the divides.

Eileen said...

planetnomad, maybe we are traveling minstrels. It's nice to tell stories, but to never forget the power of listening, too! One day I'll hear your stories in person!

Nimble, yes! me, too. That would be a sweet gig. Wonder how we could work it out?
And I would like to get some voice posts up so you can hear my stories aloud. Or maybe that's just me liking the sound of my voice again.

Margaret said...

You nailed it again Eileen!
Story tellers, yes, but story listeners too!
My PhD dissertation was (or, ahem, would have been, if I had finished it) called "Telling Our Tales"... I have been listening to and retelling other people tales (and a good many of my own) for as long as I can remember... it's part of what makes my world go round! Yours too!