Two events led to these thoughts.
The first was a course I did a couple of weeks ago on recording Oral History. During one of the lessons our teacher asked someone to relay their story. The student spoke about her mixed background which included Cherokee and Chinese and how she’s come to see the Kimberley region of Western Australia as one of her spiritual homes. She was born in Oklahoma, US.
Eventually she talked about her breast cancer which had her, and pretty much everyone in the room, in tears. We all came up to console her and it was a powerful moment (and lesson) for the class.
Last weekend lots of stories were shared.
At a friend’s memorial service, three speakers were scheduled to talk about our friend. Then during the open microphone session, the stories went on and on and on. But it was healing to hear them.
Hours later one of the family members thanked everyone for their memories. She said that the family learnt so much about their relative and about the life he made for himself in Sydney, away from his home town in New Zealand, over the last eighteen years.
Stories are tributes.
We share tales we need to hear when we get together. They enlighten us and teach those listening a little more about the storyteller and those they speak of. As authors, we even weave them into our fiction.
But most of all we need to keep sharing our tales for it’s what keeps us, and those we speak of, immortal.