Whoops--I started this post and accidentally pressed the publish button with just the start of the title, "The Devil." I'm sure some people wondered what that was about. I will try again!
I have never counted myself as an excellent out loud story teller. The trouble is, occasionally there is a story that I want to tell.
If my stories were paintings they would be in the style of the impressionists; those 19th century French artists who used tiny dots or brush strokes, of light and dark and colour, to create the impression of whatever it was they were painting. Viewed up close all one can see is seemingly random dots. From afar, the portrait or scene is clear.
The older I get, the less I worry about unnecessary details, and have got used to my children saying, "Mom, that's not what happened." I throw out the approximate facts, not with any intention of misleading, but I honestly just want to make a point and don't let the details get in the way.
And so it was last Friday at lunch with my coworkers. One of them was running a half marathon on the weekend, which reminded me of the amazing documentary Paul and I had recently watched, called, Super Heroes. There was a man who had run a half marathon in Finland, in below freezing temperatures. I started off by telling them how he had prepared for the cold by sitting in very cold water for an extended period--"It was, like, minus 8 degrees." I said.
"Belinda, the water would have been frozen," said one of my work mates.
"Well, it was very cold," I said, "And he stayed in it for an amazing length of time, actually raising his body temperature." Every one was suitably impressed by that.
"And then he ran the half marathon, in freezing temperatures, barefoot, with no clothes on."
Again my helpful workmate drew me back to reality. "He ran naked?"
"No!" I laughed, "Not naked. He had spandex shorts on, but that was all--he had no proper clothes on." The thought of a truly naked marathoner was quite funny for a moment and distracted me further.
By the time I got the story out, amazing as it was (he should have lost toes to frost bite, but willed them back to life from waxy white lifelessness) I think it lost something, but it did make me think about my poor grip on some details and how fixed some other people are on them! :)
I so admire people who can recite the names of actors and actresses in the movies they're talking about. If I can remember the title of the movie I am doing very well, even though I love watching movies.
I have come to the conclusion that there are detail people and non detail people and I know which camp I am in! How about you?