Telling stories

I went to a really interesting seminar yesterday, about the way we use stories in our lives. What the speaker pointed out was that when we (especially women, according to her, but I can see how this applies to men as well, though sometimes in different ways) talk to our friends, a lot of what we’re doing is telling stories about our lives. Whether we’re describing our day, or contributing an example of something being talked about, we’re actually weaving stories, which we use to share our lives, to build relationships, to express what’s important to us, to construct an identity – basically, to say “this is who I am”. These stories don’t have to be long, or well-crafted, but they share a moment of our lives with someone else.

As she talked (and shared some of her own stories), I thought about my own friends, especially the women, and how when we get together we often re-tell the same stories, but although we already all know the plot, the sharing of them again is still important, in the way it re-expresses our shared history. And I thought of the way we pass on each others’ stories (“I knew someone once who…”), and how that broadens each of our experience of life. And of course I thought of all the “imaginary friends” I know only through their DD and LJ blogs, and how telling stories is necessarily the only dimension to our friendship, and yet how much those friends feel just as real and close as the people I see every day in “real life”.

So thank you all for your stories. May we continue to share them together.

So, on to some stories about today 🙂

I took lusks‘s advice and checked out the Arts Centre for little relish dishes. After dragging MrPloppy round far too many stalls and galleries, we finally found a dish that I liked and that was the sort of size I’d been thinking of:

(the matchbox is for size comparison)

Now I’ve just got to find a couple more, and I’ll be happy 😉

I released a few books around the Arts Centre while we were there (did you expect anything else?): The Juniper Tree by Barbara Comyns, Very Good, Jeeves and Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin by PD Wodehouse, The Overlanders by Dora Birtes, and The Dust Roads of Monferrato by Rosetta Loy.

Talking about Bookcrossing (when am I not? 😉 ), I kind of “came out” about being a bookcrosser to some of my work colleagues yesterday. I’ve generally kept quiet about bookcrossing at work, mainly because I like to keep work totally separate from my personal life. However, a while back I while PMing new members I realised that one of them (waveweaver) was someone I knew from work, so I revealed my secret identity to her. Anyway, she was at this seminar yesterday, so of course at afternoon tea afterwards we were talking about bookcrossing (she’s been very busy, so hasn’t been able to come to any meetups yet, but she’s still keen), and I was telling her about 2009. A couple of the other women nearby overheard me saying I was organising a world convention, and asked what it was for, so of course I had to explain, and tell them about bookcrossing (they sounded pretty interested, actually…) They both work in another part of the organisation, so it’s not like I’ve come out to my actual day-to-day workmates, but I’m starting to wonder how long I can keep this anonymity up. Especially when one of them started saying they should feature me in the staff newsletter in the section about “interesting hobbies our staff have”…. Eeek!

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