Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Succulent storytelling: symbols

Yesterday’s post has initiated a wave of thoughts. My good friend, At the Dew Drop Inn, was synchronistically paddling in that same sea yesterday, and it got me thinking about how symbols might lead to storytelling.

Personal Messengers

Do you have something that finds you over and over again? An object? A creature? A certain phrase? What does it represent to you?

Like the bird droppings in Diane’s beautiful and humorous story, I realized birds have been capturing my attention for many years.

~The squawking blue jays in my grandma’s backyard during my preschool years

~The raven illustration that lived above their wall of bookshelves, now hanging in my mom’s house

~The hummingbirds we watched on the bottle brush tree and fuchsia outside my grandma’s front door

~The little bird that guided us through the rain to our backpacking site one summer in Yosemite

~The chick I hatched/raised with first graders, which died three weeks later

~My second graders’ growing fascination with all varieties of birds during a big research writing unit

~ Socializing baby penguins at the SF Zoo

~The red-tailed hawk that led me back to a missed trail while hiking alone in Mendocino (once again in the rain)

~The hummingbird that visited me at the beach days after my father died

Any of these moments might turn into a story or at least a featured detail. Did any moments in the list make you curious to know more?

I want to pay more attention to the collection of symbols that gather in my day-to-day world and see how or if they speak to becoming something larger. If stories come from an amalgam of our experiences, than I suspect symbols are crucial elements of our personal storytelling repertoire.

I would love to hear about your life story symbols!

No comments:

Post a Comment