Over the past few days, I have seen several blog posts discussing stories or story-telling. The latest one – Cat Treadwell’s post “What’s Your Story?” – really started grinding what is the essence of this particular blog post. The story of people, the story of each individual, the story of all of us….
History holds a special fascination for me. I can spend hours reading about different aspects of History from all over the world. I have three shelves in my bookcase dedicated to World History materials. I have a massive Amazon Wish List filled with nothing but World History books, DVD documentaries and even World Maps. I literally cannot get enough of the stuff.
For those that are not aware, I am currently in the Bardic Grade for the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD) and ma hoping to begin the final process of wrapping up my studies in the next few months. Its taken me a long time to get to this point – and I am quite proud of what I have accomplished to this particular moment. I have learned a lot about how the Bard is considered to be the storyteller of the tribe, essentially the oral Historian. So, for me, the pairing of History and the Bard are a natural thing – the two go together like a hand fits into a glove.
As I was reading Cat’s blog post, it suddenly dawned on me how all of this really fits together – at least in my mind. We write History for a variety of reasons – mostly political, however. The saying that “history is written by the victor” is very true. After all, the History needs to reflect how the victor was on the side of everything that was “right” and “correct” – but that’s really only a small part of History. That’s the stuff we read about and memorize in school for our exams. And sure, battles and politics are certainly a part of History – but for me, they are the most inconsequential. I would rather know the other details of how people lived, why they made the choices that they did to move from a comfortable life to one of hardship. I want to know how they had to adapt to the hurdles they came to in life. For me, that’s the moment that Histories come alive, and people speak to me from their own lifetimes. But there’s more to it than that. Cat makes the following observation in her post:
We still need the Bards, the storytellers of our people, because we need someone to cut through all that noise of social media – even if just for a moment. 90 minutes of a movie; 4 minutes of a song; 400 pages of a novel. We pause, as our ancestors did, to pay attention. We read reviews, chat amongst ourselves, discuss relevance and deeper meaning.
And this gave me a moment of pause. We are already writing our Histories and setting them out for everyone to read. We do it in our social media, in our blogs, on our computers, through our smart phones… Sure, each of these devices has a tendency to suck us in, stealing time we could spend more reasonably elsewhere. However, these devices also free us to communicate more freely amongst ourselves than we have ever done before. Distance no longer matters. We can chat, write, and even talk with others about our experiences. We can discover far easier what worked for someone else, and either utilize that or modify it for ourselves. And once utilized, we can head back to share how it fared.
Sure, there’s always the “noise” factor. Where the material being shared in this manner does not hold that much significant meaning. But that happens in any format. Face-to-face, written, oral, non-verbal communication – the true meaning of the message is in its worth to the receiver. But we also filter out what does not work for ourselves, and utilize that which does hold meaning. Even in computer/digital communications. That’s true in any aspect of History.
So, Cat makes the question of “What’s Your Story?”. I detail some of mine here in this blog. Other parts of it have been detailed over the past seven years in my former podcast “From the Edge of the Circle“. Hopefully, all of that is only a small part of my story, and there’s more to experience and relate. Only time will tell for me. This blog will serve as a marker for my own thoughts…a part of my own History. When my History is combined with everyone else’s, it can sound like a loud buzzing of noise to someone. Or it can sound like the Story of Us All. We all live on this planet together. Everything we experience, our laughter, our arguments, our moments of pace, our moments of war, our moments of clarity, our moments of confusion….this all makes up the story of us all – and it all happens TOGETHER.