When we sit down to tell our stories, we are not alone.
We come to the page, to the stage, to the drawing board and to the microphone
with a past, with rules, with piles of what we think are lessons learned
and more I Told You So’s than we would like to admit.
A choir of other voices sings at our backs, rings in our ears
as we decide which stories to tell and how to tell them,
what pictures to take and how to share them.
(Or perhaps one or two overbearing soloists take the lead.)
Who could you be without them?
Oh, I don’t mean without them, exactly, because they may never go away.
But what if there is a way to slip out from under their oppressive thumbs,
to make a sort of truce and live at peace with them?
What if you learned how to dismantle what’s left of your cage,
bar by beautiful bar?
I don’t know how one acquires authority on such things,
I just know what it is to have a story.
To live inside a journey that never ends,
because one can always be more free.
BIO | Jen Lee is a Brooklyn-based writer, photographer and a regular performer in NYC’s storytelling scene, including The Moth Radio Hour and The Moth Mainstage. Jen is an instructor for Squam Art Workshops and the creator of Finding Your Voice. She invites you to follow her on Twitter, and to download The Story Catcher.
FROM ALI | Jen’s new book/CD Finding Your Voice is highly recommended as a way to explore, grow, and dive deeper into your own personal storytelling. It comes in a great little 3-ring binder with prompts and explorations and includes a 52-minute audio-CD which includes insights and stories. Read more about Finding Your Story here.
Jen – I am super proud of you.