We are all storytellers. When we meet with friends we like to tell them what we have been doing. Maybe we have just return from a holiday which went perfectly; we tried different foods, listened to different music tried different dances, experienced wonderful scenery, saw magnificent architecture. Everything was wonderfully exciting. Conversely, everything went badly. The car broke down and we were stranded miles from nowhere in the rain. The hotel was a dump and the staff rude and unhelpful and the food bad. My companion was ill, we had to find a doctor and spent many hours in a hospital waiting room. But there was one common factor with both scenarios. We loved talking about it.
Life itself brings up its own challenges. It never runs smoothly. Like the holiday it can be enjoyable and rewarding. We meet someone we love, set up home, maybe have children natural or adopted. Get a job, buy or rent a house. Make friends who we meet regularly. But sometimes the opposite happens. We loose loved ones, loose our house, loose our job. Make enemies, fall out with the boss. Again we need to talk about it.
Talking about it is therapeutic but can be mandatory as we often have to recount our experiences to a prospective employer to get a job. We need to say why we studied for different qualifications and how successful we were at obtaining them. Above all we have to self censorship as we have to be careful what we say as our careers may depend on it.
Literature provides us with skills to embellish our stories. It is a source of colourful words which are tools we can use to describe our experiences, what we have achieved and what we hope to achieve. The wider read we are the better equipped we become to convey our lives to others.
Literature provides us with hope. There are wonderful stories out there written by brilliant wordsmiths. Even better are those that are passed down over time. Many are classical tales told to us by unknown authors whose identities are hidden in the past. Such stories maybe thought of as fairy stories told to delight children. Mixed within these are cautionary tales told as warnings in case we over reach our aspirations and become too greedy and thoughtless, paying little heed to others. The list of folk tales are countless, told originally in the oral tradition but then become written down by enthusiastic collectors.
Then come the authors, poets and song writers with the gift to put stories into words that go down on paper. They make the words sing by adding descriptions and metaphors to delight and enlighten us. Such words can be acted out on stage, in the cinema or broadcasted in sound on radios. Modern technology has given us tools to put these words in magical settings. The use of CGI has created enchanting worlds that could not have been visualised in the past.
But nothing can surpass the magic of the original words.