I was shocked and saddened when a friend of mine, the author of the blog, Breast Cancer Eh! recently revealed that she had received a terminal diagnosis. After struggling and being fully transparent with her messy shenanigans with cancer, she was in effect saying a farewell and preparing us all.
Quite frankly I was stunned by the news, then doubly stunned by something else that was happening internally.
You know that feeling when it seems like a light bulb literally lights you up? I suddenly felt animated and yes, illuminated, and somehow lighter as if this idea had beams shining out of it onto some hidden alter inside my head.Pay attention! The equivalent of flashing lights, sirens, alarm bells plus horns all went off in my head.
“Oh no, the stories that will go with her,” felt like a thought backed by a waterfall of brain chemicals.
Stories are precious. Stories provide a conduit for past experiences and sensations to be re-experienced. Stories help us understand and then make sense of the world.
Just this morning, I heard a story from a fellow who visited Saudi Arabia on business and was housed on the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM). The university was adjacent to the Saudi Aramco compound, where I lived in for fifteen years and is the geographical location where many of the stories in Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure occurred.
This fellow had come on business to the university to design a physics lab for the University and he was there for only one week.
His perceptions upon arriving in Saudi and seeing fully covered abaya wearing ladies, who were not permitted to drive, was disrupted when he peered through the fence into the Aramco compound. There he witnessed possibly myself or my friends wearing shorts, driving cars and generally living life as if we were in America or Europe.
That short story took me back to life in Saudi Arabia. It also gave me a clear perspective of what it was like to be looking inwards, as if our compound were a were a fishbowl and he was experiencing it from a different perspective.
I swam around in those waters so naturally for many years.
The power of story connects us. It also helps us make sense of life on so many levels. This story that I heard today immediately transported me to another time and place.
Stories help us look at an event and twirl it like a globe to examine different aspects and learn from each of them.
If your stories are not encouraged to step into the limelight or to be reenacted on paper and shown the light of day, they fail to illuminate, transmit values, opinions nor history. Please tell your stories.
If you have life lessons to communicate then please, by all means do so with all the passion and purpose you can muster. We need stories and they need us, please don’t leave with them locked inside your brain!