A Whisper in the Wind

Have you heard it? A whisper as faint as the wind? Something so soft, it’s impossible to prove it’s really there. Was that it again? So vague… and yet so persistent.

Some changes in life have to be made on faith. I’ve been getting these little nudges for over a year now: It’s time to go back to storytelling. “Really?” I answered back, “With what time am I working on story material?” I haven’t blogged for the past year and a half because I’ve been so busy with theatre work - writing plays, dramaturgy and on and on. I’ve loved what I’ve been doing and yet…

There were those whispered nudges again. The idea of storytelling fills me with joy, but I just couldn’t see how to fit it in. By this fall, the nudges were feeling more like pushes and there was a growing unsettledness - a feeling of being stuck. So I gave in. I still didn’t have the time, but I started telling people I was storytelling again. That was the leap of faith. And sure enough, I got booked in some schools and had a month to prepare.

Working on story material takes an enormous amount of time! As I was in the midst of toiling away, I would ask myself, “Is this really how I want to be spending my time?” I thought perhaps the purpose of this whole exercise might be to show me that storytelling wasn’t really my path anymore and it was time to let it go once and for all. But each time I checked in, I felt energized - I was loving the work!

And then came the first performance. I was watching the elementary kids march raucously in - and I mean raucously! It was the end of the day. It was the whole school, not half at a time. They  were laughing and screaming and filling the entire gym. It felt like a tsunami wave of energy. I thought, “What am I doing? These kids are going to eat me alive! Do I even know how to do this anymore?” I calmed my nerves by focusing on the stories - I trusted that they would be powerful enough even if I wasn’t. And then I began…

It was like taking all that energy and shaping it and harnessing it and letting the story ride it. I watched it unfold and wondered at it. Hundreds of kids were still as stones, leaning in and caught in the web of the story. The storytelling wasn’t perfect, but the moment was. We played, the stories danced, and I was home.

Keep whispering, wind. I’m a little slow on the uptake, but I’m listening…