Warming has been the order of the day – as I write this, current conditions report 47F, quite warm for this time of year. Winds are coming pretty hard out of the southeast – the text synopsis indicate they were pulling in moisture and air from a “…moisture plume with tropical connections…” I took a look at the GoogleEarth satellite view and could see a band of clouds extending from offshore of Mexico north to Southeast Alaska. The forecast was for up to an inch of rain by midnight, but that hasn’t materialized yet. It’s probably coming, though.
On today’s cultural mentoring calls we talked about the impact of having someone to tell stories to. Someone who is able to listen fully and share in the excitement of an experience we wish to share. I was reminded again of how many times Connor or Rowan come to me with a story they want to tell me. I don’t always have the time or energy to fully engage with them in those moments – and sometimes I wonder if that will have a lasting negative impact on them. Fortunately, I’m not the only one they have to tell their stories to. As I listened to what other participants had to share, I reflected on my own experiences. I don’t really remember specifics of wanting to tell my stories when I was a kid – though I have no doubt I was like most other kids in this regard. By the time I reached adulthood, I was become pretty good at tempering my enthusiasm. While an even temperament probably does have some benefits, the way I’ve pursued it seems to have made it more difficult for me to provide a good reception for the story telling of others. I think it also has made it more challenging for me to engage as fully with the natural world as I might be capable of. Connecting with the natural world tends to lead to experiences which want to be shared. This sort of sharing invites a certain amount of vulnerability since not everyone is receptive to such stories. It can feel very personal (in a negative way) if someone does not hear and respond positively to the story of a personally meaningful experience.
On the other hand having a reliable/safe space to share a story can be a powerful motivator for paying more attention to what’s going on. Others on the call had good stories about this, and I can speak to it from my own experience. When I’m trying to keep up with regular/daily posting here, I always have in the back of my mind that I should be paying attention to things lest I miss something of interest. At this point I don’t get many comments, so the blog is not particularly interactive, but even so – it’s a place to share my stories, and as such, it helps. Listening to the shares of others, I was reminded how having someone receive the story, take an interest in it, and ask good questions can have an even greater positive impact. I liked how one of the participants shared how, when he told the story of an experience to someone who was a particularly effective listener, he was able to get so into it that he felt like he was back in it even though it had happened a while before. Apparently this didn’t happen most of the time, even with people who were generally interesting in hearing what he had to say. I would like to reach a point where I can relive moments in that way as well as create the space for others to tell their story in a way that they can do so as well. I imagine it will take a while to get there, though.