Chris Lehman's Home
We all have a story.
Yes. Everyone has a story.
I keep seeing the picture we added to StoryArts' Hidden Treasures slide show, of the Encinitas fireman in his helmet and heavy-duty yellow and orange protective gear ready for a mammoth fire. How can you not want to know his story? Out of all thirty-three StoryArts publications, I found the story of Larry Webb, the fire chief of San Marcos, especially rewarding to collect.
But I feel that way about them all. How can I not be entranced by how someone spends their life?
I am not only a story collector and a story conductor helping create community story productions; I am also the first audience. I am the one in the first row, up front, and center. I am the story midwife from before the story is even ready to come out. I am there…waiting…listening…
As it has turned out, for me, as extraordinary as it is, it is not enough to know our story. The work is also about finding a place for that story to be told.
A story is not a story until it is told.
Yes, everyone's life story has an audience. What is yours? What is mine? What is ours?
That is also my question. Quest.
If we think there are finite mechanisms and venues for telling our story, we end up not telling it, because we don't have access to those audiences. And then, because we don't tell our story we don't have a story.
Every audience needs stories. Families…friends…one on one…local neighborhoods, even mothers and sons. Couples especially.
Size is not the point.
Place is not the point.
How was your day? Is there a better story, really, than that? Especially if you know the story of the day before and each day before that? Now you are called in, drawn in, to today. Now what happened?
"And, then she…"
Yes, have a seat. Pick up that custom made publication your neighbor wrote and cuddle up in your favorite Saturday spot and become her audience for the afternoon.
Yes, have a seat in a circle of intimate friends as we write and read from our journals, of the secrets that make our lives.
Yes, have a seat at our library overlooking the ocean as we celebrate the stories of our city's precious hidden leaders, our treasures.
Come full circle. Join the story of the story. Come to the fireside. Have a seat.