Le lien or link through my adult life has been in telling tales.
As many of you know, my first career was that of a professional actor. This was in the pre-Fall in Love with a Handsome Frenchman and Change Everything years. It was all I ever dreamed of, to be a part of sharing such incredible stories - some of which had retained their magic for centuries - and to be able to do so live in front of an audience in order to feel the ripple of exchange. It is a metier that is rooted in hard work and many techniques are needed - from such fundamentals as how to train the voice and body to resonate in a several-hundred seat house without losing their subtlety to very specific gimmicks such as how to breathe from the bottom of the stomach when you are playing a character that has just died onstage (franchement, way harder than it looks). Extensive research and exploration, not to mention a little song and dance (literally and figuratively) - these all go into an actor's bag of tricks.
So when Remi and I formed a team of travel writer (me) and photographer (him) - after I doggedly accepted that the only roles that my non-French speaking self could pull off in France would be mime-related (no thank you) - it was actually an easy transition. All I had to do was to keep telling stories and what was even better was that I was able to travel widely with my Honey while doing so. During one such trip, while covering the Khampas people in what was formerly Tibet, we came across a grungkan whose job was to sing "The Song of King Gesar". He offered to give us the ultra-condensed three hour version of what is considered to be the world's longest epic poem. While we declined his services, I definitely saw a kindred spirit in this fellow story-teller (albeit he was a divinely chosen one) and with a click I realized that I had seen many such figures in societies throughout our travels, huddled around a fire, speaking to the stars, spooling out images like silk. How we need them to know who we are.
Recently, I was asked to consider what would I barter if the world's system changed, if electricity was out and we just had our skills to rely on. The answer came quickly: I would remain a story-teller, most certainly as we would all need a bit of wonder and perspective in our cut back to basics world, wouldn't we? It would be a rag-tag existence but I can't imagine anything better than to make people laugh or cry or think. It would be a good life. It is a good life.
I am late to the party in writing about this as I needed to let my previous post stand. But it is an interesting question and I am, admittedly, selfish. Well, I told you upfront that what interests me is the exchange. That is why I am still shelling out stories on this blog. It is a bit of barter in itself. A little bit of me for a little bit of you, even if just in stopping by. So then (and I know that many of you have already responded elsewhere), what skills would you offer up to the world? Mainly, I just hope to hear you say, "I am good at this..." Because you are. So, please tell. Cook, sew, grow, hoe? Rewire, paint, dogwalk, teach a dance class? Diversity is what keeps this amazing world turning and what each of us has to offer is more than important. It is life.
Of course there is more than one way to spin a yarn and this one is sublime:
This post is my belated contribution to our monthly get together on a central theme. To see what the other fine bloggers would barter, please click here.
Ps. And yes, I know that I am a big liar in that I promised to get back to Provence but this was a now or never situation! À lundi prochain...