Monday, May 10, 2010


Writing these blogs has caused me to think back on a lot of stuff in my life. I read about a guy who keeps a journal, and every time he thinks of something from his childhood, he writes it down in the journal. He says he doesn't remember much about is childhood, about his past, and he's afraid that he won't remember his "life"..... so he's writing it down the best he can as he remembers bits and pieces.

I remember, when I was really young, years before my dad became an alcoholic and somewhat of a terror to the family..... when he would tell me these "stories" about his life growing up. He spent his childhood days growing up in the Missouri Ozarks and his younger adult years working on a ranch in Texas. He would tell great stories about hunting and fishing, roaming the still-uncultivated woodlands of the Mark Twain National Forest, his encounters with black bears, bobcats, and hidden caves in Missouri and Rattle Snakes, deserts and scorpions in Texas. As a young child I was fascinated by his stories and I can still remember saying often, "Dad, tell me a story. Tell me again about the "Texas Tornadoes" and the "Armadillo and the rattlesnake".... or whatever the story happened to be. They were all great stories, especially to a young boy. My aunt, his sister, had the same amazing ability. She told me some amazing stories about her life and kept me spellbound for hours on end.
I think it's sad that we, as a society, seem to have lost the whole art of story telling. We are a people of the "T.V." We still listen to (and watch) "stories", but they aren't, in reality, "Stories".
What we see on television are mostly fictitious accounts, created in the imagination of a writer sitting in a room inventing a story, to be acted out by people who are not really the characters they are portraying. Actors acting like other people who act out stories that have nothing to do with the real world. It's really a weird thing if you stop and think about it.
Someone asked me once why I wanted to be a counselor. I told them that I like to hear people's "stories".... what makes them tick, what made or makes them the people that they are today. I like their stories because I grew up listening to real stories and so I think I have a natural appreciation for it. Sometimes, by listening to folks tell their stories I can catch a glimpse of something that is missing from their story. Something like "adventure" or "awe" or "unconditional love". Some stories are filled with sadness and loss. Some are really funny. Some are just normal roads that have taken an unwanted detour and need to be redirected onto the main highway of life.
Your life,... my life,.. is a story,.. filled with other "stories". I hope you remember some of yours. I hope, if you have the time and inclination, you will share some of your stories with other people, especially your kids. Take a vacation from the television and video games and tell them about some of the events of your life. Tell them a funny story, an adventure story, a sad story... it doesn't matter which it is as long as it's true and real and part of who you are. You are passing something special down to the next generation Tell your stories...before the art and magic of the telling gets lost forever....

1 comment:

  1. Bob, this is so true. The Rinks are such story-tellers, & largely because tv didn't dominate their lives (until recently!). The stories John Rink Sr. can tell are captivating!
    I think public worship/public assemblies have been affected by tv enormously, too. We don't know how to respect a live performer--in our own homes, we can jump up & get a soda (or order a loud coffee) right in the middle of a tv show & the performer doesn't know or mind. That's why people feel it's ok to eat potato chips from a loud crinkly plastic bag during a concert, or run out to the bathroom 5 times during church (really! if you were home you wouldn't go so often). They are disconnected from the personal aspect of live, public performances or speakers. And heaven forbid if it should last longer than 30 minutes w/no commercial breaks!
    Sorry, got into one of my "pet peaves"! I do like the idea of writing those stories down. It would make it easier for our loved ones to get inside our souls; sometimes it's not easy to communicate out loud.