I’ve never been very good at telling a story with a few eyes pointed in my direction. My voice is stilled. Possibly, the oratory tradition has fallen away. But I do have many memories of my grandfather telling stories, so often by mingling humor with earnest principles. He died when I was only 21, away at college. There are countless stories that I’m certain I missed hearing.
My father and mother were more conservative in their storytelling. Dad shared more than Mom, often detailing the way life was in the different cities he lived in throughout his childhood and teenage years. I was able to picture the homes, the sunshine, even conceive of the sounds.
To fill my imaginative mind, I played with my sisters. Kate, my elder sister, was both assertively instructive about the way to play, while also being a real story builder. She was more creative than me, coming up with new, interesting names for our dolls and play-acting characters while, for one example, I steadily kept the given Barbie Doll names. Rachel, my younger sister, is very likely the most creative and intelligent of us all, but when she was very small, we didn’t recognize it. However, I am certain I gained a greater sense of independence and individualism from her.
Look back on your history. What characters and other-life stories did you, and your siblings if you have any, create as a child? Remember what that was like. You’ll find, or re-discover, your creativity there.