Friday, December 5, 2014

The floodgates are open

I think I must have been born to tell stories. That isn't to say I have some god-given talent for it, or that I can claim to be any sort of exceptional writer. But I still feel it must be true. Nothing in my life has ever felt so natural, or so necessary. When I feel something, anything, I find myself compelled to share it - and the only way I know how is through stories.

And that's been the root of my problem.

Storytellers are sharers by nature. We long for listeners, begging for the ears of our friends. We become overzealous and sometimes even obnoxious as we shower our neighbors in tales of our experiences.

The act of storytelling isn't in itself a bad thing. In fact, it's mostly good. I've always prided myself in being able to clearly explain myself through stories. It's the only way I've ever been able to write a successful term paper, or take part in an interesting conversation.

Where the problem begins is where storytelling turns into over-sharing, a personal affliction I have become deeply infected with.

You know over-sharers as the people in your life who can't help but vent and vent and vent. We who like to tell stories often unwittingly step over the boundary between being open and opening the floodgates. Once the floodgates are open, there's little we can do to close them back up again.

For some, there is the luxury of a gatekeeper who knows how and when to maintain those floodgates. In my life, I've had less than a handful of these people. To them, I am extremely grateful.

In those times when the gatekeeper is off duty, it becomes our - the floodgate storyteller's - responsibility to tame the wild waters of our stories.

To my mind, the best way to tackle this is to share stories on paper. To achieve a catharsis this way is to evenly distribute the water so that it doesn't flood, so much as let the land before us blossom and flourish.

As I write here again, several months since my last The Songs of Spring entry, I am making an attempt to gently open the gates and let my thoughts swim about - not as a flood for the willing listener, but as a stream to those who may be too sensitive to handle the flood.

In other words, I'm back to blogging. And it is my intention to keep the gates open for a steady stream of stories to flow through - for 365 days (give or take a few).

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