Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Story Changes a Life

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
-- Confucius

That Journey can be one of Change.  Change sometimes begins with a baby step.  A step outside one’s Comfort Zone. 

Four years ago this past September, I took that first step by inviting my daughter to accompany me to China to gather stories.  Then in April with my hand tightly clinging to my daughter’s we stepped out into the unknown.  Well, unknown to me.  Laura had been to China before which is why I was clinging to her hand.  We were going to China to gather stories!  Life changing – door opening…

Two years later on a solitary journey through the mountains of Colorado and across the deserts of the southwest, I felt a bigger change coming over me.  A change that required a giant step outside my Comfort Zone.  Another Leap of Faith.  Ever wonder what it would be like to reinvent yourself?  After an incredible four year journey, I can say it’s been worth the reinvention.  Growth has been phenomenal!  And I lay everything at the feet of Story and Storytelling.

The results of this journey have been an anthology of Chinese Folktales, Old China through the Eyes of a Storyteller, to be published by Parkhurst Brothers in May, 2012; the opportunity to help produce the Rocky Mountain Storytelling Conference in May, 2012; presentations at the Tumbleweed Festival in Abilene, TX, in October, 2010, Florida StoryCamp in March, 2011, LANES Sharing the Fire in March, 2012, and Northlands in April, 2012; attendance at the Global Storytelling Institute on the ETSU campus August, 2011; and to top it all off immersion into the world of Story including new friends throughout the Storytelling World and work finding me through avenues that had not been paying off until now.  Amazing , remarkable, wonderful …

Robert Frost tells the story best in his poem The Road Not Taken:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference


megan hicks said...

Thanks for this message from the other side of re-invention. It comforts me, here in my mostly empty house, as I await my own launch of one more re-invention. There's always a frisson of uncertainty and the vulnerability of no guarantees in such a move. Your post tells me, "Buck up. It's all good."

Fiona said...

What an inspiring post, Julie! Beautifully illustrated by the poem, and I'm greatly looking forward to obtaining your book when it is published :) Maybe one day I'll get to the convention, too.....

Lila Henry said...

Fabulous, Julie! And you forgot to mention writing Opalanga's award winning application. Many blessings, loving to watch you flower and take giant steps!

Naomi Baltuck said...

Hi Julie, sounds like a great experience. How fortunate you are to share it with your daughter. I look forward to reading your new book.

Stories by Julie said...

Thank you all for your generous words.

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