I heard a saying recently.
“If you are going to be a writer, you need to have something to say. “
It immediately applied to my music and storytelling.
Musically, I have a lot to say. I tell my personal story of the moment through the songs I write. My latest, “Birds in the Market” came when a man I was dating was offered a job out of state. As I absorbed the information the line came to me –
Our hearts are birds that sing to each other,
Ribcages holding us in.
Waiting to be sold and carried,
in the hand of another or the wind.
The imagery of my heart calling out to his and the impossibility that he and I could be together expressed itself through the lyrics and melody. I have a lot to say when it comes to music.
Traditional storytelling is a different beast all together. It is more elusive in what I want to say. It is a teacher more than self expression. I choose some stories because they call to me, like The Lute Player. Some I tell because they fit the situation. Other stories sit at my door and howl to be told until I open the door in my nightclothes, with bedhead and circles under my eyes. Other stories just let themselves in and wait to be noticed.
But, I do have something to say when I tell stories. The shortest summery is – Life is full of suffering, but it is tender and beautiful too. I tell my experiences through the stories and try to express that ineffable quality of life. When I need to express the nuances of the death, I draw on my experiences of death. When a child is born in a story I remember watching my nieces birth and being shocked at the strangeness of a new born. When the child is hungry, or the magical food is burnt, or the path twists to a strange new land…well, I know all of those things too.
I have something to say and I will dress it in fairytales so it is entertaining and can get closer to you than I ever could.
I know you have something to say – how do you say it?