The Lost Art of Storytelling

I've been busy working on a project with StoryCorps, the independent nonprofit organization whose mission it is to record conversations of thousands of Americans and preserve their stories in the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.  Some of those interviews are broadcast every week on National Public Radio.  Despite all the hard work, the experience has been very rewarding. It has made me realize what a wonderful gift it is to talk and listen to one another.  In this digital age, the ancient art of storytelling is as important as ever.

My grandparents told wonderful stories.  I miss them dearly.  My grandmother Prena was an especially talented teller of tales.  She used to love reminiscing about her younger days, and her eyes would light up as she recounted exciting stories -- some humorous, some scary, some melodramatic, all entertaining.  Even the stories that she would retell over and over again, she would deliver with the same energy as if she were relating it for the first time. Even though I sometimes couldn't understand what she was saying, I understood the heart of it, which is all that matters.

Take time to talk to one another and especially to listen.  There are some wonderful storytellers out there.  Pay attention to their stories and remember them before they disappear.

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