Missed yesterday’s post because herself and I were preparing for a little dinner party with friends. There was no occasion, just a chance to get together and enjoy each other’s company. There were five of us at the table. We dined on good old-fashioned pot roast with carrots, onions, potatoes, and of course, gravy. There was also Yorkshire pudding and a delightful apple broccoli salad. The meal was accompanied by an excellent Bordeaux and an equally exceptional Merlot. As the wine flowed, so did the conversation.
As the meal was ending, we were joined by more friends who happened to be in the neighborhood for another engagement. The port was opened and the seal on a 12-year-old double-barrel single malt was cracked. Glasses in hand, we adjourned to the living room; however, within 20 minutes we were all back at the table telling stories of fly fishing the Rogue and Umpqua for steelhead. Those stories slowly morphed into accounts of the recent snow storm. From there we moved to tales of winter adventures spanning some fifty years. It was a glorious evening, one which will be long remembered. And at the center of it all was our well-used kitchen table.
The kitchen table is the modern-day equivalent of the hearth fire. It is the center of the tribal circle where stories are shared, a place of of joy, camaraderie, and family. As a writer, I treasure the time spent in the circle for another reason. It is a chance to absorb the flow of language of storytelling. I listen to not only the development of the tale, but also how each story is told and how the listeners react. One thing that intrigues me most is how one story leads to another and yet another, each told by a different storyteller.
If you are lucky enough to be a part of one such story circle, by all means enjoy the moment, but also open yourself to the innate gift of storytelling we all share. Bask in the stream of words, soak up the wealth of our language as the stories flow around you, for as a writer, this is your stock in trade.