I’ve got a new obsession. It’s storytelling.
It’s not the stories I cover as a journalist, this my friends is much different. It’s part of an old/new genre that’s growing in Chicago where people gather to hear true stories about each other’s lives.
It’s a bit of a throwback to the days when we’d gather around the fire to roast the freshly caught deer, duck or squirrel. Or fast forward a few generations to after Thanksgiving dinner and the grown folks tell tales from the past. Or on the stoop, hanging out in the neighborhood.
I went to my first storytelling event in November when WBEZ’s Don Hall mentioned he and a crew of wonderful storytellers were coming out to the far flung suburbs to tell stories. So as a different kind of Date Night, I dragged Hubby out and we were pleasantly surprised.
It was in a laid-back setting, the atmosphere was so open and warm. None of the finger-snapping, too-cool-for-school business here. It was a Thanksgiving-themed show and the storytellers shared their tales from their Turkey Day table from pot-smoking cousins to a medical procedure that gave a family hope their mom would have her first pain-free holiday.
One story spoke of how you never know how in one moment the wrong word choice or action can scar someone emotionally for life. This one was my favorite and I’ll forever carry it with me.
I belly laughed, my heart was touched and I felt at home. It was honesty with strangers and I couldn’t wait for more.
Lucky for me, I didn’t have to wait long…
*stay tuned for Part II, when I put my name in the storytelling hat