I was honored to have been invited to present at the Seattle Pecha Kucha "Storytelling" gathering — wonderful to share stories with such a talented, inspiring mix of artists and raconteurs.
Here, if'n yer interested, are the lyrics…
It’s hard to tell good stories when you’re nervous.
It’s hard to sing a song when you’re on fire,
and every one of you could be right up here in my shoes—
because the sharing of our stories is hardwired.
Every time we whisper, point, or scribble,
every time we yodel, sketch, or tweet,
we’re sharing a new story, hallelujah glory glory—
that’s what makes all human beings unique.
Humans just aren’t built to run on logic,
according to one Roger Clemens Shank,
a leading cognitive scientist in artificial intelligence,
he says we’ve got our narratives to thank.
It doesn’t matter how you go about it;
no matter what your medium it’s true:
add two things together & as sure as there is weather—
your brain will make connections ‘twixt the two.
There may be nothing new under yonder sun,
but when we collocate new things, well then a story has begun.
Binding combinations of fresh themes & exposition;
storytelling is the art of juxtaposition.
On one end of the juxtaposition spectrum
clichés are all worn thin from repetition.
At the other end of the range, non sequitur holds sway,
mambo dogface banana patch, the Spanish Inquisition.
Non sequiturs are seed beds for new meaning;
by definition they’re unmoored from cause.
If you look for bears you’ll find you find them everywhere.
(Non sequiturs are this guy’s secret sauce.)
Just inside that far end of the spectrum
you’ll find metaphor & simile & song
that bind us all together communal birds sharing feathers;
mash up two groovy things & the whole world sings along.
Take the poem, In a Station of the Metro—
juxtaposition used for artful grand affect.
“The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.”
Ezra Pound invites the reader to reflect.
We once thought the brain just ceased unfolding.
But now we know regeneration’s rife.
You can keep your brain cells young, just keep your metaphors far flung.
That’s what Rilke meant when he wrote, “You must change your life.”
We’re in the middle of another mass extinction.
A billion people living without clean water to drink.
and while the seas are dying, I hope everyone is trying
to tell stories that might save us from the brink.
Stories offer hope for our survival.
Telling stories makes us human and connects us everyone.
So keep sharing your own story—hallelujah glory glory—
but make sure the tales you tell are worthy ones.
Every time you whisper, point, or scribble;
every time you yodel, sketch, or tweet;
you’re sharing a new you, glory glory hallelu—
you’ve got tell the world why you’re unique.
I challenge you to always keep a journal,
and take it with you everywhere you go.
Jot down those raw insights when the day reveals its mad delights…
Now everyone go out and JUXTAPOSE.
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