After reconnecting with that word, the one that two years ago defined a dream and today defines my reality, I took out a pen, opened my notebook and turned to an empty page.
There’s nothing in this world more exciting. It’s like a blanket of snow without footprints; crisp, white and untouched paper waiting to be explored.
In my neatest handwriting, I led the ink along the centre of the page and swirled out a large and powerful S. Then, with pretty little curves and perfect loops I penned out the rest, finishing it off with a fancifully staccato full stop.
As my eyes fixated on the enticing twists of indigo surrounded by an empty page of possibility, I skipped along the fields of fantasy and headed home – home to the Kingdom of Storytelling.
Parables of the Past
Our ability to get what’s inside our head inside the head of another has forever left me hypnotised – thoughts become words and words become stories.
This conversational artform has been around for thousands and thousands of years and has played an integral role in our evolutionary past. It’s how, on the grasslands of Africa, our first ancestors, through grunts and gestures, warned each other of danger.
Stories were survival.
As time went on and spoken language formed, stories became more than just avoiding poisonous snakes and toothy tigers; they became lessons in life. They were ways for social constructs of moral reasoning to spread themselves around the globe and how faiths formed and gathered followers.
Stories became our teachers, they were how we learned from the mistakes of others and moved ourselves forward. They’re how our brains grew and how knowledge formed.
Written or spoken, stories became a form of entertainment, a way of sharing imaginations and escaping reality. People would sit around campfires, or gather in town squares to hear them. Then in books, in theatres and in film, stories began capturing our imaginations and setting them free.
They connect us. They bring us together through a mutual understanding of what it’s like to be human and today, stories are everywhere, in myriad forms. From one liners on Twitter, to a conversation with a stranger on the bus. A business presentation, a talk, a seminar, a short film, a captivating play.
Stories are everywhere.
Fact, Fiction and Fantasy
One of the most fascinating aspects of storytelling is how they combine fact, fiction and fantasy, blurring the lines between what we know, or think we know, and what could be. They challenge our perceptions and make us ask questions, ones we might never find the answer to.
Stories make us question our reality.
You can see it in the words we use to describe them; chronicle, fable, folklore, anecdote, fiction, myth, legend, fantasy, novel, parable and fairy tale. Many of those words carry subtleties of delusion that challenge their veracity.
And in my book, that’s a good thing. Maybe there are no lines between reality and reverie. Maybe imagination is our truth. And who’s to say that what we dream when we’re sleeping isn’t just as real as what we believe with open eyes.
Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast