A few Sundays ago I attended a storytelling night at a cafe close to my house, but I almost didn't make it. For once, I wasn't late. I arrived on time, but before getting off my bike, I peered into the window at the small gathering and let intimidation take over. Quickly turning my bike around, I peddled back towards home. Thankfully it didn't take too long for my better judgement to kick in and again I found myself outside of the cafe. This time I got off of my bike, locked it and went inside.
I had every intention of being a fly on the wall, but as soon as the door swung open, I was greeted by a man who looked as if he'd just stepped out of the tree of life – his hair and beard were long and flowing and his presence felt calm and zen-like. He introduced himself as Abraham and immediately welcomed me into the group. Tea in hand, he kicked off night and the stories began.
At first things felt a little unorganized. Without a set theme or agenda, we hesitated to share, but it didn't take long for the room to open up. I was completely fascinated by everyone. While most of the room was Dutch, we were still a really diverse group. Each story was so told with a completely different style. The first a metaphor – educational, yet filled with meaning. The second was beautiful and it was hard to distinguish between reality and fiction. The third was an exciting recount a mysterious volunteer experience abroad that left us all a bit puzzled.
Half way through we took a short break and the side conversations opened up. A woman turned to me and asked me what my story was. I looked at her blankly and began to stumble over my words. I heard myself describing who I was a bit, and then I said something like, "I suppose my story hasn't been as important as helping others express their stories."
It's a simple question. What's your story? My story. For the last few weeks I've ruminated about that.
The night reminded me that stories don't have to be significant to be shared. The last year I've felt my thoughts and stories becoming a bit more scattered. I never thought that keeping a blog was too significant in the past, but something about that evening made me realize that I missed writing it.
Being quiet is important, but perhaps I've spent too many months keeping to myself. What I realize now is that I've changed so much over the last two years and have hardly taken a step back to notice it. I stopped blogging and I stopped creating projects without purpose. I suppose it's good to take a break, but in doing so I've missed capturing my own stories. I'm not promising myself a significant return, but I do promise a return.