Three independent events. One silver lining.
It feels like an ‘aha’ moment though I am not quite sure what to make of it just yet.
First event. Picture a grey small town northeast of the United Kingdoms. An hour south of Newcastle, Darlington is not exactly the most happening town. Samaritans had somehow capture my somewhat short attention span. Samaritans, a 24-7 call centre for people who are contemplating to commit suicide. After the obligatory 6-8 hours trainings times five Sundays, I was ready to take my first call. So there was the townhouse that I went to six to ten hours per week, week after week. Sitting by the phone or in front of their computer, with a cuppa milk tea and a plate of biscuits. The calls were mostly pranks but occasionally someone in distress did reach out. The emails were always flowing. Stories after stories started flowing. My heart ached and revived so many times through those few months I volunteered there. It seems like everyone had a story and they are screaming for someone to stop, take a moment, and listen to them.
Second event. Not quite an event really. More of an observation. The Couchsurfing forum is always an interesting pot to mix in. This one time, a literary student was posting a simple request. She was in need of a story to write for her class, so she asked if anyone had a personal experience they’d like to share with her, completely confidential and all they had to do was just committing to a meeting with her. Where they could talk all they want. All. They. Want. And the replies were tremendous, much to the student’s enjoyment of course, it was almost like people were competing for their stories to be heard. The idea of sitting in a coffee shop, pouring your story to a stranger is indeed a very liberating experience. Very much an urbanite individualistic problem it is that we share so much of our daily lives but keep the chunk of the iceberg to ourselves. How often do you let your guard down and show the world who you really are, where you’ve been and what you’ve been through? It seems like everyone’s got a story to tell, and they can’t wait to leash them out, to whoever’s got a spare change for coffee and a few hours to spare.
Third event. Just five hours ago. I met a certain individual who’s currently doing a biography project for the elderly and the sick. The big idea is to write down these grandmas and grandpa’s life stories, more for their therapeutic effect than anything. Any of you who have a grandma and grandpa in your care would know how much they love telling stories and tales of years past. And how they constantly wish someone would just listen to them. Somewhat reminding me of the movie Notebook. As I have a strong feeling toward the importance of storytelling from one generation to the next, I have a hunch that this project could be so much bigger than what it is at the moment. And I haven’t even added the power of World Wide Web into the equation. Potential, I see. Storytelling. Everyone’s got a story to tell, but most got buried away before they ever had a chance to feel the sweet escape flowing through two lips busily dancing simultaneously.
What do I take from this?
I am not sure. It’s definitely a work in progress.
So, what’s your story?