Arte Es Vida

Storytelling by arteesvida
March 17, 2007, 2:45 pm
Filed under: Journaling

I went to a lecture by Emma Perez a couple of weeks ago that combined some of her new work in the oral history tradition with that of her previous opus on the decolonial imaginary.  The paper I’m working on about the lecture focuses on how the oral history tradtion plays an integral part in expanding the horizions of historiography (which is essentially what the decolonial imaginary is).  There was a quote from a book by Michael Ruhlman called “House” that discussed the importance of the idea of storytelling.

(Ruhlman’s own blog is fairly new.  While occassionally hijacked by the enjoyable rantings of Anthony Bourdain, it also includes much about Ruhlman’s life and work which keeps it on the top of my TBR list.)

 I couldn’t refind the quote, and an email to Michael Ruhlman last night was answered in my inbox this morning.  (It also thrills me to know that the lives of some of my favorite writers is as boring as mine…I stayed home watching Art School Confidental and eating Wheat Thins last night.  Ruhlman apparently spent his answering silly emails from fangirls.)

The quote is from Reynolds Price.  Theessay is “A Single Meaning” and is in his book “A Common Room.”  This is it:

” A need to hear and to tell stories is essential to the species Homo Sapiens — in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter.”

Ruhlman goes on to discuss how storytelling is hardwired into us, and that even in our sleep we tell ourselves stories.  (And when we lose the ability to dream, we begin to lose our ability to function.)

For those of us who keep a journal, whether it be pen and paper or a blog, we are acting as storytellers.  I’ve noticed over the years that the stories I tell shift in importance.  As my priorities shift and my values sharpen, my stories flow alongside them.

What are your stories, why are they valuable to you and why do you feel the imperative to share those particular ones?

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