I’m always excited about new adventures, new experiences. So, when my parents invited me to the International Storytelling Festival in Tennessee, I was thrilled. Not only do I get to enjoy the amazing art of storytelling, but, I also get to spend the weekend with family that I don’t get to see very often. Double awesome!!
So here I am, in Johnson City, TN, and I just finished my first ever Storytelling Festival. I had a blast. We were in Jonesborough yesterday from about 10 am until 9:30 pm. It was a long day, but there were such amazing people we saw. I laughed, I cried, and sometimes, I felt like I had to pick my jaw up. I was picturing hearing people similar to some of my favorite childhood authors, Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein. While more modern, I was not disappointed. Some were quirky, some were hilarious, others were thought provoking, but they all offered something. Some shared their own stories and others shared stories that had been passed down from generation to generation. Others used music as a part of their storytelling (I heard a blues rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow that send chills through my body).
Last night ended with an incredible performance by Dan Hoyle. His performance of Border People left me speechless. He portrayed 11 different people of different types of borders. He did not just represent immigrants. He represented the LGBTQ community, the black community, and citizens who were from other countries. He portrayed different types of borders: physical, cultural, religious, racial. You would have thought a different person portrayed each individual. What’s awesome is he is not representing an entire community with each portrayal. He is representing one person, that he interviewed and spent time with to capture their truth. His accents, his body language…I felt that if I met the individual whom he was portraying, I would recognize that person. Check him out online. It was amazing.
And the best part. I have had a weekend with family. I have not had a chance to visit with my cousin a lot. I don’t see her near enough. Until this weekend, I hadn’t seen her since 2015. And the silly thing is that we have always gotten along so well. This is a good reminder for me that I love road trips and have no excuses to not make my way down here more often.
Road trips and time with family build amazing stories. While I won’t be up in front of a crowd at a storytelling festival, hearing the storytellers, this weekend, inspired me to continue to share my stories and thoughts and to live my life to the fullest and create more memories to share. And, I have learned that not everyone has to like what I share, nor agree with it. But, if I can make you think, and sometimes think outside the box, and make you see another perspective, well, then I am doing something right. Thank you to everyone reading and thank you for all the amazing responses.