I would pull out a stack of books, almost bigger than myself, and snuggle in with my dad on the big black chair with the orange and yellow stitching. As I would plead, Just one more story, he would feign sleep. His voice getting tired from all the reading and reading and reading. It's hard to say if that love of hearing stories was developed then or just something innate. Still, I love listening to stories. Books on "tape" for the long drives between San Luis Obispo and San Diego the summer after I graduated and Lukas was interning at a manufacturing company. Podcasts, now, on the bus ride to work - This American Life, Serial, Invisibilia, The Moth, and Radio Lab.
I had a friend in middle school who lived down the street from me. We'd meet half way and walk to her house to practice gymnastics in the big, octagonal room at the back of her house. In the summer, we'd climb the wooden ladder to sit on the top of the shed in the backyard with our clear plastic jelly shoes going soft and slightly sticky against the asphalt shingles. In my memory, her mom always had the radio in the kitchen tuned to NPR. As a kid, that was supposed to be so boring. I had no idea what they were really talking about and only ever heard snatches of the stories. But the cadence and rhythm of the voices pulled me in. They were telling stories and even if I didn't understand, part of me wanted to stay in the kitchen and just listen.
Like the voices telling the stories that pull me in and hold my attention - even with just the sounds of their words - I want to work on finding my voice. My voice for telling the stories that make up my life. Telling a good story isn't simply about getting the facts down correctly. It might not even be about that at all. It's about rhythm and timing and melody and feeling. And, I'm sure, it takes practice.