I’m Leah, and I’m a storyteller. That’s a catch-all word I use because it conveniently sums up all the various ways I use art and writing. I could say that I love to design, to draw, to craft messages and brands, to take photos, to create websites. But what I am essentially saying is: I love to tell stories.
When I was just a wee little thing, I made my mother repeat the same stories over & over. Mom would sometimes rest briefly from the mysterious tasks she completed each day at our dairy farm upon the countertops, stovetops and clotheslines I couldn’t reach or see, and once she was settled in, she’d tell me stories about things that happened to our family, or bible stories, or whatever stories she remembered from books. I sat on the floor and drew pictures while she spoke, so after Mom was done, saying, “That’s enough. Time to get back to the laundry,” I could recapture the story through my drawing. That was just the start.
I learned to write (and read, naturally) and then I cannonballed into the seductive quicksand of making up and writing my own stories. Now I had both art and writing. Combined, these two play pals were like magic glasses I wore to make the world a far more fascinating place.
Lo, these many years later, stories still have me firmly by the hand and lead me through a life I imagine is far more interesting than what “normal” people experience.
When you’re given something incredibly valuable, there’s usually a price to be paid in exchange. For me, that is suffering an addiction to art and stories that dogs me through daily obligations, rigmarole and the banality of life as an adult lady. On my countertops, stovetops, and desktops, I slog through the motions necessary for survival.
Under my skin, though, I’m still the same kid who hadn’t yet learned to read a clock or drive a car or grocery shop. Nowadays, when I crave a spectacular splash into the pool of my own imagination – its depths and caverns so perpetual Jaques Cousteau would bite his own knuckles in envy – instead I’m often met with a padlocked gate and a sign callously proclaiming “Pool Closed.”
I get my fix where I can, and that means I am eager to create on behalf of others. I am easily swept into their stories, and as I listen, I try to catch the story, make it my own through writing and art, and then share it. You know what else? This is a remarkably decent way to make money. My Mom never mentioned that part.
And that’s the short story about why I’m a storyteller. This has been very relaxing, but now I must get back to the laundry.