[Strictly speaking, this is is no lesson in presenting, only if you want to make it one.]
Stories are a common good.
They hide in the grass, trembling with anticipation, waiting to be picked up, waiting to be made real. They lie on the pavement. They are the writing on the wall.
And today I have plans, I want to get out of Smallville, get some air, get out of these woods, but I almost step on a story in front of my house and so I change plans and directions and follow a small story from its ending, the way I usually do, for like a cat’s tail a story’s ending holds all the secrets ever told and look! how it twitches with excitement, for not even a story knows where it may take you, if you let it.
After a few hundred meters I lose sight, right in the middle of the beginning – or the ending: stories are real push-me-pull-yous – and I need to decide should I turn left or right, but I am such a slow decision maker these days, and so I choose the road less travelled by, as I have learnt by heart, but this story follows a different path.
I trust my luck, though, and bookmark the right? wrong? corner, and when I return a few hours later, my cam full of unexpected crow, the story is still there, dozing in the warm afternoon sun and I catch up with, just as I had hoped.
Stories are patient animals, and if you treat them right and don’t overfeed them, they are usually home before you.
And so it begins – or ends – with the most magic words of all:
You have gone too far.
It is not here.
The snail. A bridge.
Hello. You there.
You’re almost there.
Are you thirsty?
My birthday guests!
Count the white squares.
And I count and recount and count again, but I can’t seem to get it right, and now my story is getting impatient after all and it loses itself, right before I can lose it again, and it fades into the amber of the woods, where nothing is ever forgotten, here in Smallville.