STORYTELLERS capture our imaginations in many forms. For example Jim Goodman who used to be referred to as Professor James Goodman in Civil Engineering at Colorado State University. I’d worked with his group writing the outcome of their efforts to—on purpose—break wooden telephone poles. Those who offered the poles for demolition were the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, California.
But that was then and this is now. Like many of us who used to write for others, we now take great pleasure in writing blogs about many topics. In Jim’s case it is his memories of living in Wild and Wonderful Wyoming; the title of his blog. I like that he casts, as if fishing, for fables and true stories from his memories in the Wyoming of his day. Jim’s writing is more in the style of memoir because he delves into the time and place and intention of each blog he writes. One of my favorites is “A Mother’s Day Tribute.” I recommend that you cast a line and sit back and enjoy Jim’s style of storytelling @ jimbomedia.info/wordpress/.
Storytelling: Unaware, each of us live within our life stories and some of us share our past online in a word named BLOG. Each blogger tells a different story that draws readers to capture the memory moments of their experience on Mother Earth. Jim’s Wyoming, past and present, is an example of fables and rumors and the poignant moments of childhood that never fade away.
I’ve always thought that due to technology we are losing our life stories. Yet here I am utilizing that exact technology to encourage you to visit bloggers and stay a while. Why? Well you just might see yourself in their words. Yet, as technology leapfrogs faster and faster into the future, I question who will tell our stories? I ask this unanswerable question because I believe each voice on Mother Earth has a story to impart that someone needs to hear!
Over the last few years I’ve been on a hell-of-a-ride that, by a whisker, I live to tell their tale. The reason I begin my blog this way is to inform that not even the word grateful depicts how I feel to be alive: in the truest sense of that word—living. In the before I was appreciative; now I know life to be in the hands of each moment. Sure, I still plan and anticipate and hope because, well because I’m here. Yet, the feelings behind the words hell-of-a-rideare still brittle. When they strengthen I’ll tell their story.
Today follow me into the Aging Mirror… At my age I tend not to look into any mirror, let alone one with the word aging in it. But in spite of this confession, stick with me because I have a feeling we will both learn something. First I must set the stage for my mirror: Father Time and Circumstances. The Supporting Actors: experience, knowledge, right place/wrong time, troubles, second chances and intentions.
My childhood: Italian Father/English Mother and the associated forty-two first cousins may make clear my mad desire to record/write/blog whatever I observed or experienced. My first writings are in a red plastic diary with a small silver key and today books and blogs and life stories. When young I took no notice of time fleeting. But these days I ask Mother Earth to slow the milliseconds without upsetting gravity.
As to looking into the aging mirror these days; well that is a Horse of a Different Color. As Dorothy discovered in the Wizard of Oz she’d had the choice to return to Kansa all along; just a click of her Ruby Red Slippers. The analogy here for me is that when I look into the aging mirror these days I too have an option. I can choose to look away from what time has created or I can look with admiration at the woman I’ve fought to become. It isn’t what I see in the mirror—it is instead what is reflected back.
Recently—watching the evening news—I wondered where is that sense of place I knew so well as a child. The place of family and shelter and protection until that one day at school we were taught how to hide beneath our wooden desks warning The Russians Are Coming! That did not pan out but it did, for the first time, educate me to know that my sense of place had just changed forever.
Also, in those days, we were convinced that, if we chose to, we could dig our way down and find China. Given I was reading a book about China at the time I was more interested in this effort than my two brothers. Their sense of place at the time was building their forts using old wooden boxes and scrap paraphernalia they found as they played all over the neighborhood. Many years later I was fortunate enough to see China: after a very long plane ride. As the drone of the plane flew on I smiled to myself thinking back to the broken wooden spatula my mother encouraged me to use if I was serious about digging my way to another sense of place.
So I ask: On Our Earth Today is there A SENSE OF PLACE anywhere? Anger and frustration and killing fields and lines not to cross and on and on… I need say no more.
So I pose this: If we have forgotten or don’t think about and don’t care about our sense of place then we Humankind are no longer writing the Life Stories of the Individual or Earth itself.
Maybe we should look to Mother Nature’s trees and the animals and the oceans and the land because they are indeed grounded in A Sense of Place.
As owner of JLM’s Garden, LLC I write life stories for clients and other things too (see categories/contact above). It was after my first client, years ago now, that I came to realize the value of the story within the life. Now I think of it this way: Everyone wants at least one moment on life’s stage to know they matter to a world that doesn’t even know their name.
My current project is the unraveling of five notebooks that must conclude as a cohesive creative non-fiction story of an 1800’s trapper, army scout & pioneer.
No story is a standalone and this one introduced me to a Shoshone woman named Meeteetse. Not unlike Sacagawea—who served as guide to the Lewis and Clark Expedition—Meeteetse also served: in the everyday life of the fur trappers.
As I wrote it struck me that there is a synchronicity that flows throughout the stories of Sacagawea (Circa 1787-1812) and Meeteetse (Circa 1838-1896). Two necessary Shoshone women who helped colonize what would become the United States of America. And who set the stage for other women whose names we shall never know; let alone their story.