Howling Into the Wind: Stories, Attitudes, Life

Stories are a part of our lives. These tales are an everyday aspect of what we do, who are, and why we do things. Did you go to the grocery store? You can mold that into a story. Had a wild day at work? You can let that take shape as well through creative thinking. You didn’t have issues with the copier machine and its fidgety toner cartridge. No. You had to tussle ith the controls of your space freighter, trying to maneuver into position before the Imperial Destroyer pulled you in and boarded your ship. You didn’t take reports from the printer and bring them back to your cubicle. You gathered up the secret data reports that had been entrusted to you and hid them in various places where you smuggle items through the Imperial blockade. Your reports will provide the Rebellion with the information needed to take down the HP LaserJet Death Star before it can ruin any other planetary civilizations with its foul stench.

Yeah, a lot of this can be categorized as having a “creative imagination.” But those stories are also a creative outlet for your daily life. Just as the myths and legends we read about provide daily life lessons, if we look just a touch deeper or if we can slightly bend the story in this manner to shape a bit more snuggly against our daily reality. We have stories in our lives…not just the myths, not just the legends, not just the fictional books and movies that we digest like a handful of Trick-or-Treat snack-sized Snickers bars.

This weekend I will be at the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids Gulf Coast Gathering. Stories are a part of camp. Tales around the campfire, myths and legends in some of the daily discussions….I even told a tale of a screen door banging in the breeze – mistaken as a boar. That happened during a previous Gulf Coast Gathering. Unfortunately (ha!) that particular tale has had legs since then…having been told again and again around the night-time campfire.

Sometimes, stories turn out to be half truths or even no-truths that are stated to harm someone in some manner. Sadly, it’s a fact of life. Sometimes, we have to grab for the veracity of a story when we hear it, to be sure of what we are hearing. Sometimes stories are just speculation that has sprouted legs or wings and suddenly has travel plans. So not all tales are to be believed. But sincerely, stories are a daily part of our existence.

I try my best to convey stories within the blog post, usually about my past, to convey a point. Well written, very descriptive perspectives can convey us to other realities. For instance, the Star Wars movies or the Matrix movies (don’t talk about the newest installment, I’ve not seen it yet). Embedded in these stories from galaxies and times far, far away are truths. Many of the truths of the Seeker can be found throughout both franchises. I have often found myself referencing Star Wars moments to be able to convey a thought more clearly.

A particular example comes to mind with the coming initiations that I will have the joy and honor of attending. In Star Wars IV, when Luke is using the light saber for the first time against the training drone, he remarks to Obi Wan that he felt that he could sense something there – what he believes is his first encounter with the force. Obi Wan replies with “That’s good. You have taken your first step into a larger world.” This is a story moment that resonates with anyone who has seen Star Wars IV. The scene is iconic, and well known. But what does it mean? Now we’re getting deeper into the area of story.

When we tell our stories, our legends, our myths – the imagery we use will look and feel different for everyone. No one will feel the same thing exactly. That’s because we all process information differently than everyone else. We are unique in this direction. That’s because our experiences are unique. We can feel similar things, but not always the same as someone else. For instance, try to define the feeling of love. How do you feel when you’re in love? How do you know that what you are feeling at that moment is a deep love and not a shallow one? What about anger? Or the easiest of emotions to reach for – hate? I think we will find similar explanations from person to person…but nothing EXACTLY the same. The same holds true for processing imagery from stories. I can even bet that a story told orally will be experienced far differently from one that is read. The storyteller has the inflections that they wish to make, the tonal nature of a passage where an emphasis is to be placed. When you read, those inflections are left up to you. And if you have experienced the storyteller’s oral version, I can almost bet you will hear their voice, their inflections when you read the story.

Considering the concept of processing the story, have you ever watched a movie that was made from a beloved book or book series? Have you ever been enraged over some of the characters been entwined into a single entity? Its done for the sake of the movie or tv series time and in the number of actors on the screen. However, it can be quite jarring to those who have read the story before they encounter an oral telling of it. Consider that a bit when you are doing the play-acting I described in the beginning. Your version of the story is born out in your attitude.

I watched an interview with the late Jerry Doyle at a national Babylon 5 conference. Doyle played the head of Security for the Babylon 5 station, Michael Girabaldi. Before the convention, there had been rumors running around that he had been in a coma for a few weeks, which he affirmed in the interview. But he noted that afterwards, he decided to make changes to his life, so as to accentuate the positive more. He explained a rite of life that he had done every day since he came out of the coma. He said that each morning he got up before the sunrise and watched it come up over the horizon. He then followed that with a quote that has stuck with me in my own life since then: “Every morning that you get up is the start to a new day. It can be a good day or a shitty day. That all depends on how things go. But at the start you have a choice. Life is short. So, why would you want to wake up in the morning and decide to have a shitty day?”

Your life is your story. You get to tell it. You can have ups and downs in your adventures. But its still your adventure to tell. Its your adventure to have. Remember, you wake up each day with a choice. Good day? Shitty day? Why would you ever want to choose the second??

Finally, a reminder. Since I am at OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering, I won’t be posting this weekend. Instead, I’ll drop the weekend post on Monday and then continue on again with the Tuesday/Thursday/Weekend format from there. 😊 Thanks for reading….

–Tommy /|\

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