18 March 2012
The power of storytelling...
"By telling a story, things don't control me anymore: it's in my vernacular, it's the way I see the world. Our stories ask our big questions...what's funny in this world, what's sacred -- And, even more important, by asking them in front of people, with people, even if we don't find the answer, by the asking we find we are not alone and I find that's even more important than the answer."
I found this interview that Krista Tippett did in her radio program On Being with Kevin Kling inspiring and moving, especially this short excerpt from one of his shows in which he says: "Every scar is a monument to a battle survived. Now, when you're born into loss, you grow from it but, when you experience loss later in life, you grow toward it." Kling is a performer and writer who was born with a defective left arm followed by a motorcycle accident in his forties that almost killed him and paralyzed his good right arm.
That first quote of Kevin Kling's about questions without answers reminds me of something Bernie Glassman said in a talk he gave in Germany this year. In starting a conversation with a group, he invited people to ask him questions so he could get to know them better. "But I'm not going to answer them. Because I don't believe answers are useful. In fact, answers can be very deadly. Questions have a lot of energy, they have a life. With a question, you can go on."
The trick is getting comfortable living without answers. I think Kevin Kling has it just right: asking questions in front of and with other people does make you feel less alone.