Let’s rediscover the art of storytelling

I was chatting with a friend on Facebook who celebrated his mother’s 87th birthday, and how it’s not too late to listen to the wonderful stories our parents have to tell –if only we listen.

I always regret not recording some of his stories, especially when I spent the last few weeks with my dad. He had a fine art of storytelling. We use to call them ‘long stories’ and ‘yarns’ because he always threw in a bit of drama and lots of narrative detours to keep us riveted. He taught English and history, so he seemed to have the right ingredients of storytelling.

Today I always carry my digital recorder with me, because there are those unexpected moments that just present themselves, and you just want to capture it.

So this project, called the Interview Project from filmmaker David Lynch is something I just love. It is the fine art of letting people tell their own stories, on camera. Listen to this one, for instance, recorded last Saturday, June 13 in Moab Utah.

It reminds me of the StoryCorps project, begun in 2003.

To get back to my friend –and ex journalist — the point I made is that we are so busy telling our stories, posting nuggets of information about our lives, our accomplishments, our backyard barbecue … that we sometimes forget to listen.

I only wish the stories on Interview Project are not so short. They look tightly edited, and you end up feeling that a lot more of, say, Gordon’s story ended up on the cutting floor. Maybe there is a longer version, maybe the stories is part of a larger project. I checked if I could interview the folks behind it, to get the story behind the story.

Stay tuned!

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