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Storytelling and the exhale of the wind

By April 30, 2024Uncategorized

In regular conversations, I tend to listen more than speak. I have identified listening as one of the most helpful and even necessary practiced skills.

So, you may be confused when I note that storytelling is also the most important skill, when storytelling that is spoken in conversation, is not something that I always partake in.

This is not unreasonable because humans exist in a world of contradictions.

To be tethered and untethered

I was hiking. And the water that traveled from my hairline to the tip of my nose was cold and not my own. But the sky was still bright. The trees and the brush, and then the moss and the dirt were tapping one another with the help of the rain. It was like they were speaking to each other in hushed tones, pausing occasionally to see if I stopped to listen.

My friend told me a story about the people who move with the earth. They understand a kind of balance, between what is below and above them. She says it requires a deep focus to observe it.

When you step, you note where the earth touches each part of your foot. The energy travels up you, making you tall but also grounding you.

The focus also establishes your connection to the air and sky. It raises your chin slightly.

We should experience our interactions with people this way. An active balancing.

The balance that can be achieved through storytelling

A breeze pushed the water droplet from my nose to the dirt under me. Not everyone I meet loves the wind. My sister describes her favorite wind as the exhale made by the valley near our childhood home.

We consume air naturally and without thought. We breathe the same, but out of sync.

Communicating is breathing, but storytelling is breathing the same air. And when someone tells a story and another really listens, you exhale together. And you move with the wind and the water that helps the plants tell you secrets.