Through the window – A Musing

It’s raining, it’s pouring, I wish I was still snoring. All the animals are inside, and slightly damp, the visiting teens are inside, and watching telly loudly. The view through my lounge window is of looming grey clouds and rain. All the plants are holding their leaves to the sky and laughing.

I’ve loved the power and light show though. Only because we have not lost power, for which I am most grateful. Parts of the town have. Trees down, creek rising but on the bright side, no fires. The ‘fire season’ is officially over. On the first day the fire bans were lifted, which was hot and incredibly windy, people went to town burning off. Guess what happened? Yup, fires out of control.

Reminds me of one year a neighbour down the road, lit debris at the base of a tree. The fire began racing up the trunk and the neighbour began batting at it with his plastic rake, sending embers off into the wind. I stopped and told him I’d rung the fire brigade. He gave me a few choice words as he ran for his hose.

Then there was the other neighbour who lit a fire near their fence and a tree. Youngest Daughter and I stood watching as the flames took over the fence and leapt to the tree. I called the brigade.

We’ve watched a fair bit of weather through our lounge window. One year, hail stones as large as golf and tennis balls bounced into our front garden. The car received a lovely array of circular dents in the roof. Youngest Daughter, being seven, raced into the front yard to collect some hail stones and proudly showed me three. We put them in the freezer to keep them.

Another view was our first year here in a bush fire area. It was Black Saturday. I was already freaked out and the power kept cutting out. I was very aware of how fast fire could spread and there were four big fires well within 20 kms of us. The winds of change could easily bring them our way. I was bravely staying, encouraged by a fire-wise neighbour, when Youngest Daughter went to the window. “Mum,” she said, “Look how pretty the sky is.” I whipped around and saw vivid orange smoke clouds. We cut and ran to our friends for the night.

Other views through my window have been spider webs of rain drops in the trees, gymea lilies silhouetted against the sunrise, children making mudslides down the embankment, cats sunning themselves and pouncing upon one another. I’ll keep watching and let you know what we see next.

Storytelling 102

So, how do you move from being a storyteller to a Storyteller?

I am assuming that you know what storytelling is. It is spoken word story that can be told in a variety of styles. My own style is dramatic. There is also trance and physical and a myriad versions in between. There is not exactly a wrong way to tell a story and yet there is. We’ll talk of that another time.

Stories have been handed down through generations and are at the centre of cultures. We tell stories every day, whether anecdotes of family happenings, incidents at work, online news or gossip. The important verb here is ‘tell’. We tell the stories. This is the cornerstone of storytelling and the important thing to remember. We tell stories. Yes, there is spoken word poetry, readers’ theatre and read stories. What Storytellers do is tell stories. How do you remember those stories? We will discuss that later.

I first came across Storytelling at Wonderwings Fairy Shop in 1992 when I dragged a number of friends along to an adult Storytelling. The party room was set up as a forest with a treed mural on the wall and mushroom cushions on the floor. We were served fairy bread and champagne. There was much laughter as we settled in, with some discomfort, unsure of what was to come. I was looking forward to whatever it might be. The Storyteller was Matteo, still telling today, and despite one friend’s determined efforts to distract and actively critique him, he told traditional folk tales. I was fascinated. I loved being told stories. When we pottered about the magical shop afterwards, my friends muttered to me, “You could do that!”

What? Tell stories, for a living? Surely not. I did enquire of Annie, the shop proprietor, who  told me of the Storytelling Guild (now Storytelling Australia Victoria). The idea persisted and I began attending the Storytelling Cafe nights. I was fascinated by the different styles of Telling and the plethora of stories told. It came to crunch point for me. It was time to tell a tale.

The first story I told was the Magic Stones. Having no idea how people went about learning stories, I did it my way. I read many many stories until one struck me as resonant. Once I had the bones of it, I began telling it to myself. Hours of practice saw me ready and finally I stood to tell a tale at the Storytelling Cafe. I was terrified. I told. I survived. I was elated.

Feedback later was that although my style was apparently far more dramatic than most, my story had been enjoyed. Whew. Did I consider myself a Storyteller now? No, I did not.

I have noticed that when people embark on a new endeavour, they are reluctant to name themselves Artist or Writer or Storyteller. Within a year of my first told tale, I produced a solo show (because why tip toe in when you can jump with both feet?). It went well. Over the next ten years, I told in early childhood centres, primary schools, libraries, with adults, ran workshops, facilitated groups and travelled across Victoria with my beautiful storytelling trunk.

Somewhere in that time, I stepped from storyteller to Storyteller. Once a Storyteller, always a Storyteller.

Now, how do you remember stories? We’ll talk about that next time.

 

Storytelling 101

I have been a storyteller for over forty years.

From the age of six I can remember asking my mum for stories and repeating them to myself and others. In my teens, I became the holder of family stories. In my twenties, I began to keep the stories and tell them for the young people I worked with.

As I journeyed through life, I held and told the stories of my workplaces, my family, myself, my children, my life. That is what storytellers do, we hold and tell the stories of our world. Does this make us all storytellers?

Why, yes it does. We use stories to make sense of our lives, to learn and to share. We share our experiences through stories and share stories to capitalise on our experiences.

So what makes a Storyteller different to a storyteller? It depends how far you want to take it.

By the time I was in my twenties, I found that friends were asking me to tell stories of shared experiences. By the time I was in my thirties, my colleagues were giving me stories so I could share them with new staff. As I built my storytelling business, I worked at a large chain warehouse for a few years. Staff from other sections would share incidents that occurred then ask me to re-tell those stories. I worked in the nursery and two of our favourite stories concerned customers who had come asking for unusual plants. A woman came in with her husband and child and explained that she needed a plant that would grow above a metre and half tall and would climb up the fence over a shrub she already had planted there. The plant she wanted had large white flowers and big leaves that it lost in winter and she racked her brain to think of the name. As she spoke I began mentally flicking through the climbers in our stock, when she exclaimed, “Oh! It’s a clitorus!” Surprised silence. “Oh no! That’s exactly what I didn’t want to say!” she was horrified. I laughed, “You mean Clematis?” “Yes, that’s it, a clematis!”, she agreed, red with embarrassment. She bought three. Then there was the man who came to examine olives, insisting that he wanted the one with orange centres. We didn’t laugh then and there, just explained that the one he wanted were pickled and stuffed olives that you could only buy from the supermarket.

From Paint there was the story of the hospital that called wanting to know what was in Cabot’s decking oil as someone had used it for fake tan; and the Hardware story of the irate customer who explained she had laid out the nails from the liquid nail tube but they would not harden to nail in; and on it went. Why me? I remembered the stories and told them with such relish that even those who knew them well, enjoyed hearing them again.

I worked as a travelling Storyteller for ten years, growing my business and developing it into a Storytelling agency. I sold it when life moved me in other directions. Once a Storyteller however, always a Storyteller.

I hold the stories for my children and begin to hold the stories for their children. I hold stories I have been gifted, stories I’ve read, stories I’ve heard, stories I’ve created. Many, many stories live inside my head. My developed storytelling mind lends itself to interesting connections which serves my current employment well.

How do you make the shift from storyteller to Storyteller. I’ll tell you next time.

Blogging 301: Why do I keep on keeping on?

When I first heard about blogging, I could not imagine why anyone would want to share their thoughts or read others. Guess that’s a clue, right there. I didn’t even keep a diary as I couldn’t bear reading back what I had written. I do keep an art journal with my doodling and practise work. I draw images, and zen-tangle them, until I can confidently re-draw them and feel I have added to my repertoire. It’s not a visual journal of my life journey, nor is it like one of those art journals on Pinterest, full of colour and special wording. Nope, it’s just my doodles and image creation.

However, I see in that, growth. A slow building confidence in my own artistry. I have always been creative, trying many mediums. Paint has been the most intriguing for me. Mostly because I couldn’t work it. Collage works for me on a very personal level. Sculpting works for me at another level. Drawing and pen work for me endlessly (I do love a good felt tip) but painting eluded me, until recently.

I discovered dimension and sculpting paints and canvas paper in a pad (oh joy). Now my head is full of what I would like to draw and blending images. Once I have an image, I can see it in 3D, and can re-position the image on my page to view it from every angle. Now, why can I not do that with my thoughts?

Is that what blogging is about? Is it viewing different topics under discussion from every angle, until a whole picture is built?
When I read other bloggers’ work, I gain an insight into their perspective, their experience of life. It does not allow me to know that person or understand their intimate drivers, but a blog that has connected to my life experience in some way. That in turn creates a feeling of connectedness. I recognise something in the blogger’s experience that I have shared. I do appreciate a blogger who explores a situation and questions themselves.

If writing enables us to view a situation or experience from different perspectives, much like my art journal, then it is no wonder that blogging abounds. And abound it certainly does. There are millions of bloggers, some of whom capture the interest of thousands of readers. I do not read blogs everyday but I do view a number of them regularly and some I even follow.

There are friends’ blogs that I always read. Mostly because they are my friends but also because I enjoy their conversation and with some of them, who are far away, miss hearing their voices. Most of these fall into the category of Storytelling friends, Storytellers from across the world whom I have met through other Storytellers and enjoyed their style, their wit and their stories. I have read enough of their blogs that I find I can reference between them. That has occurred more than once which makes me wonder how those comments and commentary have stuck with me. What resonated that I integrated their experience?

I read voraciously, mostly online and ebooks. I read widely and enjoy snippets of information as much as I enjoy learning something new. I absolutely adore being able to satisfy my curiosity. I don’t have to know everything but being able to look something up the moment I wonder about it, is a joy that is unsurpassed and stems from an education mired in library reference books. The opportunity to read, verify, deliberate and consider another person’s experience is vicarious and unifying simultaneously. Curiosity is not just an human trait but certainly brings joy and entertainment to my life.

Have I answered my own question then? About why I continue to blog, even when I don’t feel like it and sometimes feel I have nothing to say? Yes, it offers an opportunity to connect through sharing, personally and through reading, in a way that is stimulating on many levels. I can only hope that other people enjoy my musings as much as I appreciate theirs.

Memory Gems – A Musing.

IMG_2069

In stolen moments, all alone or with one dog at my side, I sip my coffee and finally relax and tumble my memory gems through my mind.

Passerbys stop to pat my dog which he welcomes. Me too. It is almost as nice to receive compliments about your pooch as your child. My dogs are floozies willing everyone to stop and pat.

My work day week takes a lot out of me. I think, I ponder, I write, I broker relationships between organisations and people, I collate news and share it, supervise staff and monitor programs, read, write and allow the many conversations and information I have gathered during the week to percolate through my brain, allowing new ideas to bubble to the surface. See? Everything is related to coffee.

I gain my energy from time alone, spent writing, reading, drawing, painting, sculpting, pasting, tearing, creating. I wander about my garden and I ponder and plan, plant and pull. There’s a lot of alliteration in my life. I draw energy from the earth, trees, plants, flowers, animals and the sky. I notice those moments of the sunlight through trees, a cobweb stretched across my path, a moment’s fragrance and much like my dogs, ponder it all later. I think about the trees I noticed driving to work and my dog’s faces as I gave them a last pat (and the random cat that joins the throng) and I savour them.

From childhood I learnt to gather those moments, the little treasure troves of gems, to share when life dulls or becomes overwhelming. Dealing with large groups of people is overwhelming, or groups that oppose one another (or think that they do). Worrying about one’s children and other people’s can be exhausting. Other people’s anxiety grinds against my own and I seek solace in my gems. Those shining moments when the world offered a glimpse of beauty. The more you find, the more you see.

Sometimes there are surprises. One evening this week, after completing an intricate drawing, I went into my bedroom, flipping the light on and stopped still with surprise. On my bed, looking equally surprised, was a beautiful chocolate Burmese. “Hello!” I assumed he came in through my open window and made himself at home. The effort it would have taken to get up to my window, balance and jump down probably required a nap. I walked slowly around the bed and offered my hand for a sniff. I quickly worked out that he preferred a stoke to a neck scratch and we were friends. I got ready for bed, wondering aloud to him who he was and who was missing him. A personable gentleman, he made himself at home and tried to settle on my pillow. I had other ideas and scooped him off. He liked the cuddle so settled down to sleep alongside me for the night. When we put him out in the morning, he was unwilling to leave and seemed disconcerted that he had to go before being offered breakfast.

We have wondered about him since. My bedroom window stays open and I watch for him. Handsome and obviously well cared for, we hope he is safe at home.

Another gem for my treasure trove of memories.

My entourage

IMG_3921

Here I sit to write again and I am surrounded by my entourage. The inevitable Gem is on my right arm and a flotilla of floofy fluffy canines are milling at my feet. (Hmm, flotilla and milling? Oh well.)

When my grandson was crawling he joined my entourage. My entourage is usually made up of three floofy fluffs and Gem. The little fella was staying with Grandma (me! I know, right?) from the age of six weeks. Night after night, he went to sleep in my arms only to protest the laying down in a cold cot. (I tried warming the sheets while he snoozed on me but he was never fooled.) The floofy entourage watched this with decreasing interest as the nights waned.

My poodle, Miss Daisy Mae Starr (and yes, they do all have names like that), was enamoured of him from the get go. Absolutely besotted, she would stand on arms of armchairs to view him in his cot, wagging and talking all the while. He has taken the dogs attention for granted, never giving them more than their due and seemed to assume that he was one of them.

Wherever I go in the house, my entourage follows. It’s as if they are never quite sure what I might do. They follow in case I do something interesting and they don’t want to miss out. To the computer, check. To the kitchen, double check and hopeful wagging! To my room, check. To the laundry, check. To the toilet, check, check, check. I suspect they think that I will disappear when I go into a room where they are not. Fair enough. The toilet is a bit baffling though. I am often heard to call out in sheer exasperation, “Look you guys, I can go to the toilet by myself!”

When my grandson was finally crawling, he joined the entourage. He would faithfully follow the crowd down the hallway to the toilet, bathroom or laundry. If I had to answer the door, five little bodies came with me. Fortunately he’s never taken up barking though he did startle more than one visitor when bending to pat the menagerie, they noticed a baby in the mix. He didn’t seem to mind.

Now that he’s walking, running and exploring, the dogs are less interested. The cats have always been very tolerant of him, seeming to know that there is much he doesn’t understand. While the dogs generally treated him like a wayward puppy, my senior canine, Mr Wallace Gumble, has always kept his distance. The poodle is enamoured all over again as he is now of the correct height to hold his food just so, which Daisy delicately removes from his fingers. Portable snacks! My grandson always looks up at me with such consternation across his face, ever surprised by this turn of events. As I am an excellent Grandma, I laugh.

We went with the little fella and all the family on the local steam train, Puffing Billy, for his third birthday. He was so excited, he shivered and shook. It’s amazing how many people a cheeky, charming three year old can con into letting him clamber over them. Fortunately we only had the one carriage he could take over.

He still follows me much like my youngest did when she was small. It seems they never know what I might do next.

Help Wanted: Cats Only Need Apply

photo

My cat, Heart’s Gem (aka Gemma or Pudding), likes to keep me company while I type. She likes to keep me very close company and grooms part of me as I work. This creates significant distraction and awkwardness for the placement of my arms as I reach around or under her to the keyboard.

There are any number of objects on my desk that could make a good spot for her. But her favourite position is right next to my laptop, lounging across my arm onto the keys. Either that or sitting behind the screen, pushing it forward, staring at me with purring concentration. While it is lovely to be loved by a cat it can be exhausting for my arm or neck. My arm keeping my hand in place to continue typing while pudding-cat rests heavily upon it, roughly grooming along it. My neck as my screen slowly bends lower as she stretches against it, purring lovingly all the while.

Yes, she is a muse and often amusing. Really, I consider myself lucky that the dogs haven’t got into the act. Although come to think of it they do use the opportunity of me sitting still, from their perspective doing nothing, to demand pats. I wonder how much I would notice their absence if they were out (for a walk, chewing a bone, barking at the dogs down the back)? Gemma though firmly believes in the delicateness of her build and the svelteness of her silhouette. I have not been able to persuade her otherwise.

Twelve years ago my ex-partner took me to the RSPCA to choose a ‘recovery kitty’ after significant abdominal surgery. Straight from hospital. No thought given to how I would walk across the carpark, through the centre or down three flights of stairs. When I was eventually standing in the kitten cage, a flood of kitties streamed across the concrete floor. Here they come, I thought, wonder which one will choose me? The flood moved straight past me to the cat carrier we had brought in and clambered all over it. Harumph! Except one tiny fluff ball, who marched through the river of kitties, climbed up my jeans all the way to my shoulder where she sat, purring and kneading and batting my hair. It took less than a minute to be claimed. It had taken me 20 minutes to walk down there and thirty to walk back.

Heart’s Gem she was named and Gemma she became. Throughout my recovery she stayed with me and sat on my chest whenever I stopped moving. She has had faith in her tininess ever since, sure that a cat sitting on my chest, covering me up to my eyes, is exactly what is needed. Or kneading my cushiony softness with claws like scimitars is enormously appreciated by me. Mind you she is not much different than her fellow housemates.

Recently when renovations caused us to be away for a few nights and finally I was home to stop for awhile, I sat in my arm chair and was smothered in seconds. I called for my daughter to take a photo (see below). I suspect they missed me.

I do think of the animals as companions than pets. I am certainly glad they choose to live with me. As to Gemma’s help with my writing? Well, I have her to thank for this blog.

Perhaps she’s my muse after all.

IMG_1543

Why I blog? 201:2 Still a lot to consider

I was very resistant to start blogging. I sensibly began reading other people’s blogs to see what I enjoyed reading and what I responded to. There is such variety.

Did I prefer those Storytellers who framed their stories in contemporary concerns or those who shared about practical issues, conversations about community engagement or those blogs where inspectrofication occurred (yes, that is a new word and I like it)?

I began by framing my stories but soon found I was sharing personal stories and then that I was sharing intimately. This surprised me enormously. What surprised me even more was the amount of re-blogging of my intimate blogs. I had great difficulty comprehending that the workings of the inside of my mind were relatable. I am human after all and we are all so assured of our startling individuality. Experiences may be different but our feelings and emotions are the same. What determines the difference is our decisions, how we react to our experiences. Well then, how to react to this experience of blogging?

I determined that it was okay to share my “Introspectives” as readers responded to them so positively. I have some readers following the Jumbly Tales and there are still many more of those to come but I had other things I needed to explore. I also have a broad range of interests and find my work and personal life intersect at disconcerting frequencies, so my blog covered that as well. Basically, I needed to cover whatever it was I was wanting to share. Luckily there are as many categories as you wish to create.

I fondly imagined that I would have comments of daily significance only to discover that life gets in the way and other issues such as children, family, Community, animals, house, work and garden (so much to do there!). There have been times when I have thoughts to share and times when I do not. When I do not feel that I have anything to share, I think it is best that I do not. Gobbley-gook would be the result, I am sure. I am quite proficient in swearing in gobbley-gook (as the man who tried to intimidate me with his van found out recently) but it is not what I want to put in my blogs.

Interestingly, there is a vague sense of guilt when I do not blog. My commitment is to myself and my writing development, to those who consistently read and respond and to those who kindly find my writing of interest enough to share. That’s serious levels of responsibility. The blogosphere (and that it an actual word!) is full of so many interesting writers, creators, and thought provokers that I wonder at my own contribution. I do not have ego enough to imagine that missing a week here or there is noticed and would not be concerned if it was. I blog primarily for the development of my own sense of self and style of writing.

Ah, now we have it. I am blogging to develop myself. That is exactly the reason I began blogging. I wanted to share my stories and develop my own writing and in the process, see what others had to say on their blogs and in their responses to me. I endeavour to comment on other blogs, to share my appreciation or what they have inspired me to think about. I do not read blogs every day but certainly read a share each week. I particularly like artist and photographer blogs. The eye of an artist is such a celebration and I appreciate enormously the capture of a mere moment of existence, a thought or an idea, that I can contemplate in the picture of the artist’s work. What a gift. I enjoy satire and spiky commentary but I particularly enjoy comments from readers who add so much through their responses and can have me falling off my chair, snorting with laughter.

There are writers who have been blogging a long time and certainly blogging is not a writing form that everyone does well. I also appreciate Poetry blogs. I am enamoured with words after all. I love the sense of connection and feeling from poetry, especially if the words do not make literal sense. Poetry is primarily emotive for me and I respond strongly to visuals. I write a lot of poetry, some good, some simply expressive. Be grateful when I tell you that you will see little of it. It is the way in which I process my stuff and most of it is not for public consumption. The pieces I do share are for the letting go. I have noticed a number of bloggers who share whatever they have written.

As a Storyteller, I have a commitment to the reception of my tale. While I cannot guarantee how a story will be received or understood, I feel strongly that I share stories with which I am complete. One blogger’s tale of forgiveness inspired me and while more thinking was going on with the blogger, it was clear that some shareable conclusions had been reached. I told him I had been inspired and thanked him for sharing. I noted that he had been moved by people’s responses and that he was able to share more of his developing thoughts in the process. And that’s what blogging is, it’s a process.

While some do blog absolute finished and shiny pieces, others process their lives though their blogs (some more rawly than others) and this is what fascinates me.

I have decided that I like blogging. I promise to always be respectful and withhold the most raw material (always). I have a new commitment though. I will continue to read respectfully other bloggers’ work and contribute respectfully to their comments. This interactive forum that let’s us grow and develop and collectively engage in the sub-conscious process of evolution is not be underestimated.

Hmm, must think about that some more.

(c) CLHHarper 7 July 2014

Zero to Hero: Day One/ Why I blog.

One of the many (and I do mean many) blogs I follow was blogging about setting goals and undertaking Blogging 201. Now I’m always up for a bit of a challenge (unless it’s abseiling, not that kind of challenging) so I clicked over. Apparently it was a follow on from 101. As you know I like to have my ducks in a row, so clicked to Zero to Hero: Day One, Blogging 101 and here I am.

There are a few questions to prompt thought and being logical, I’ll answer them.

Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
All that I write is personal. I am in there somewhere, whether it be a traditional story I’ve adapted, a story I’ve created or an introspective. In fact I’ve categorised my blogs into Adapted Tales, Journey Tales, Jumbly Tales and Introspectives. When I write things tend to fall into place, even if I have been thinking about a particular issue for a long time, writing helps me sort it. I found myself writing my first introspective when I had muddled through some rather large upheavals and facing some sad sad truths in my life. I did not write directly into the blog and kept the writing for some time before sharing it. I felt I was complete with that and it held universal themes that I believed others would resonate with plus I needed to set it free. Setting stories free, to see what they can be, no longer works for me in a private journal. What readers contribute in their thoughts and responses can shift and change the way in which I perceive things. 

I have been a storyteller for decades, in fact I earned my living for ten years as a storyteller in early childhood settings, both as performer and educator/ trainer. I ran my own agency and encouraged other oral storytellers to branch out. I told a lot of personal stories. One particular gig comes to mind (yes, we call them gigs too). I performed for the Association of Relinquishing Mothers and told adapted and contemporary personal tales. As an adopted child myself and foster carer moving into permanent care, I found myself in an unique position to tell those stories. More than ten years after the performance, I still bump into members of that audience who remember me and the stories I told. Now that I am not telling regularly, I needed to find another outlet for my stories.

I blog because it allows me to resonate with readers.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?
I write my stories. I started with commentary before the stories, then moved quickly into the tales. Very early on I found that I had some stories to tell, such as Tricky Tricksters, that called on all my skills but were of a personal nature. At one point when I thought I was going to tell one story another came up for telling. That is how the Jumbly Tales came to be. I have not had opportunity to follow my characters through before and my blog allows me that.

I thought I would tell adapted tales but it is my stories that have finally found an outlet. The instrospectives, when I am pondering something, seem to find resonance or dissonance with others. Either is fine with me. For now I will stick with my categories of Adapted Tales, Journey Tales, Jumbly Tales and Introspectives.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
Other storytellers are always welcome but I am interested in people who are interested in the same subjects I am. I am very curious about the human condition (why I read so many blogs) and why people respond in the way they do. I am interested in people who have adopted or are adopted, foster carers, community development and engagement workers, people involved in sustainable living (ah, those tiny homes, I love them), autism and parenting a child with disabilities, children and teens, conditions that set us back and move us forward (rape, abuse, violence) as a civilisation. I am interested in Community, with a capital C. I am interested in reaching out across communities and connecting in common humanity to make this world a better place for future generations.

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?
I would like to accomplish a body of work of which I am proud and to reach as many people as possible. I want to develop as a writer and teller of tales that resonates within Community. That doesn’t look to have much meaning when written on the page so I will put it this way.. I see the lines of connection that light our way and link us one to the other. When we pull on those webs and find like-minded people, we strengthen the bonds that bind and support us. To contribute to the strengthening of those bonds is what I want to achieve. To do it through the telling of my stories is what I would like to accomplish. There!

Finally, of what benefit would it be to you to read my blog?
You will be amused. I know that I am frequently entertained by the contents of my brain and how they juxtapose and connect. You may be inspired or moved or relate to my stories or introspectives. You may feel moved to respond. You will find me delighted that you have. You will meet a story of mine that you want to share with another. Then we will all be happy!

Thank you for reading.
Yours in Story,

Cindy-Lee

Wherefore art thou, Jumbly Man?

The Jumbly Man. Where did he come from?

I sat down one day to write a blog and fully intended to include a totally different story but The Jumbly Man arrived instead.

I do like him. I like him a lot. He is simple yet so complex, he lives his life yet has suffered great trauma and loss. He blames no-one for their misfortune yet feels justifiable rage on others’ behalf. He cannot articulate yet is understood clearly. He cares with great compassion yet wrong doers will feel the sting of his wrath. He views the world with clarity and purpose yet finds much happiness. His favourite thing is to laugh yet travels often to wash his woes. He is a solitary soul yet robustly enjoys the company of others. He loves passionately yet never holds onto bitterness.

He lets his life speak, as we Quakers say.

Jumbly lives his life simply, without fanfare or needing acknowledgment. He shares his kindnesses and empathy because that is who he is. He listens with humour but is never dismissive. Best of all, his presence heals.

Why? Because in Jumbly there is rest.

I know Jumbly’s whole story, his journey from birth to death but the tales come as they do. There’s one about Mrs Higgenbottom soon to tell then a pivotal tale for Jumbly Man. There are so many stories that weave in and out. They take their time and so must I.

I do love Jumbly. I love his patience and his kindness. I love his sense of the ridiculous. I love his capacity to love. He still has mean thoughts or uncharitable ones as he might say but it doesn’t shade his character.

Is Jumbly me or is he hope? I feel he is himself. The Jumbly Man. Adam Jumbles. If you haven’t read one of his tales you had better get started. There’s a big one coming and you’ll need to be ready.

Until then, in Jumbly time.

 

Cindy-Lee