"Two or three things I know for sure, and one of them is that to go on living I have to tell stories, that stories are the one sue way I know to touch the heart and change the world."
- Dorothy Allison
We are born to be story tellers, I think...all of us with stories to tell, to share, to enjoy. My husband thrives on telling his stories, some of them over and over to where we roll our eyes and walk away, off to do our own thing.
His whole body tells the story - eyes flashing, hands gesticulating wildly, laughing, chortling, emphasizing various words.
"Oh, did I tell you this one?" he asks, knowing full well that he's told it many a time.
Yes, he's a story teller among story tellers.
But - better yet, he's a story catcher, and while most of us are story tellers, few of us are story catchers.
We're far to quick to interrupt with something like, "Oh, yeah, that happened to me. Let me tell you..." and off we go, now wrapped up in our own story.
But, this man I love so dearly, is a true story catcher. He listens, eyes focused on the other person. He asks questions, and then follow up questions. The other person knows that someone is hearing the story he or she is telling - and really hearing that story.
There are so few story catchers in this world.
Yesterday, these two men stood as the tiny train rumbled and shuddered along its tracks, winding its way through trees and along a creek. They shared stories; they asked each other questions, both animated in their discussion.
And, as we waited for the train personnel to switch the engine from one end of the train to the other so that we could begin the journey back, the conductor quietly took my husband aside and asked, "Would you like to ride in the engine car on the way back?" not knowing he was fulfilling a life long dream.
As we clambered aboard, others watching, and I'm sure wondering how we got to be so lucky, or whom we might know.
And, I wanted to tell them, "Be a story catcher. Just be a story catcher."
It's as simple as that.