There are those rare people who can make stories come alive with their voices and bodies. True storytellers are rare – many people know how to tell a joke well, how to tell a funny happenstance or exaggerate something that happened to them. Few are the people who can make up a story on the spot and tell it in a way that makes it seem real and true and exciting.
I don’t know if I’ve met anyone yet who has come close to the way I imagine a perfect storyteller. Perhaps the kind I imagine only exists in books – the bard, traveling from inn to inn, paying for his or her meals with a story, with a tale of valor or wisdom or strife. Perhaps perfect storytellers can only exist when written down in words, when described with such things as “fiery eyes” and “a voice like no other” and “commanded attention without effort, a presence which filled the room easily.”
People don’t sit around fires and tell stories they make up – no, today everything is based on old legends or stories or the Disney versions of those stories, and people discuss politics around the fireplace, and only tell their children stories. Is storytelling a lost art then?
Wind whispers through the small crack between the window and the wall and enters the warmly lit apartment. It skips all over the kitchen chairs, startling the cats, and cackles with merriment as it passes the whirring refrigerator. The wind plays up and down through the whole kitchen, brushing the coffee mugs, the kettle, the toaster. It moves on into the open living room, investigating the television and blowing dust into it and making the leaves of the plants sway slightly as it brushes them.
The wind keeps going and moving and flowing through the house, shying away from the hot heater and making odd noises as it rattles the doors in their frames. It soon reaches the cold bathrooms, and leaps up the walls to fill in the very corners with it’s cool cruelty. It brushes the cold taps and dances across the mirror.
Eventually the wind reaches the only room with any noise in the house, just a second or two after it began its investigation of the place. It cools the face of the teenage girl in her room, reminding her that she is alone in the house, alone apart from the kittens and the wind. The wind ruffles her hair and then escapes through the window behind her. It has learned a mood, a house, a person, a home, all in the space of a few moments, and it will keep darting across the many houses and apartments, and will keep gathering emotions, feelings, sights and sounds.
Sweat dripping down my brow and stinging my eyes, muscles cramping and aching, feet pumping along despite the myriad blisters – there is no feeling so satisfying: being in control of your body, utterly and totally, knowing it will obey you despite it’s pains, despite it’s aches.
Then again, there is also such wonder in letting go of such control. Giving yourself up to complete languor, as when falling asleep after a long and hard day. Knowing your body has reached its limit and surrendering yourself completely to a motionless rest. Letting your muscles and limbs twitch as they will, random currents running from your brain to every joint and fiber of your body.
It’s incredible to think what strange vessels our bodies are, capable of every sort of odd movement and feeling, all coming through these invisible, unconscious decisions and chemical reactions that we cannot ever feel.