Some of the greatest people I have known are storytellers. We all know at least one, two or three if we are lucky. They’re the people who can spin your ordinary day into something spectacular, turn a moment into a memory. As acquaintances, friends or family they can sometimes feel overstated, out there or just outright bizarre. I however, happen to think these individuals are brilliant.
I count myself among those who have won the lottery in life—I know more storytellers than I sometimes know what to do with.
These are the people who have formed my life. Shaped my worldview. Gifted me with an appreciation for imagination and seeking the extraordinary. Demanded the most from what every day has to offer.
And it’s daunting.
I think a lot about the way my father talks about art. About his passions. About things he thinks are beautiful. His words drip like honey, smooth and sweet and sticking to you. His voice becomes quieter and his hands become more active and a lopsided smirk lights up his eyes. It’s hard not to be inspired. Anyone who has met my father knows exactly what I’m talking about.
I want to tell stories like that. To see so much beauty that it spills over, so much beauty that it’s contagious.
I thought about that today when I saw a grouping of boulders in the bush. When a small green songbird bounced around the scrub on the side of the road. When I sat beneath the shade of a baobab tree and road through Songo in an open-back truck and ate xima, couve and beans with my hands at the school in Nhandoa, set against the backdrop of the late afternoon mountains. A picture would never do them justice, sometimes I feel like words wouldn’t either.
And then I think about my father. About the excitement with which he speaks, about the thousands of ways he has made the world a more beautiful place by sharing the beauty he sees. Contagious. I think about the storytellers in my life.
So, to honor these wonderful humans, these beautiful influences and forces for good, I’ve decided to start sharing stories. Interesting stories, mundane stories, funny and sad alike. Stories about life. Stories in tribute to those who have gotten here and to remind me why I stay. Stories that remind us, prove to us, that beauty is everywhere. This is my love letter.