Tell me a story! Would you?


“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
― Erin Morgenstern. The Night Circus

I would love to share with you Erin Morgenstern’s quote from her amazing story The Night Circus, to introduce today’s paper.

When I was a very young kid, I used to wait still in my bed for my mom or dad to come in for the night story time. The wait was often unbearable, I knew these moments would not last long and I did not want to lose any second of that special moment. So I used to rush my parent to cut the preliminary and get started with the tale.

After a while and when the part of the story was over, it was obvious I had to sleep, that was said with no words, just my mom or dad standing up, closing the book and turning off the light, wishing me good night…

I admit it never ended that way, although my eyes were closed my mind was awaken letting my imagination fly into this realm of fantasies and extraordinary adventures. Traveling from a world to another, visiting the land of fairies, climbing huge trees above the clouds, or simply travelling around the world with Tintin the young globe trotter.

Night Circus
Image credits: The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)

When my mind could not stay awake anymore, I felt sleep taking over and all I could remember was mom’s voice telling me I would be late for school! Ah! What a chore! Getting ready for school, I’d rather go to my dreamland school instead!

When I was almost 5 years old, I decided to read all the books by myself, I could recognize letters, but wasn’t sure of the meanings of words, so relying on pictures I tried to read as I was hoping to get the same emotions when my parents used to tell me these same stories. I was far from feeling the same enjoyment. I was so disappointed to look at pictures and feel that something was missing, heroes looked still, with no soul, the few words I could read were not those my dad used in his stories, so I started asking him about the reason.

I still remember his smile when he told me I would understand when I grow up some day. He once said that telling stories had its own magic! Magic! Well I never got the true meaning of such words when many years later I heard a storyteller (I did not know this word ever existed) on TV telling the story of Montreal. He used fiction yet pointing on historical events that happened. His composure, the tone of his voice and the expressions of his face struck me! I found the same feeling again, the very same one when my dad used to tell me these bedtime stories. I was fully driven again into this imaginary universe, far from reality yet listening to true events that happened in the city where I live!

I knew the answer of this magical feeling, realizing that regardless of the story, it lived by the person who tells it. The tone of voice, the emotions, the sounds, the pace, finding that basically it is an act of compassion, a great amount of care the storyteller puts in his own soul to share the vibrant thrill of the events of a tale whether fit is a fiction or real events that happened!

I’m always fascinated when a book or a movie start with such words “A long time ago, there was a faraway land that was known as…” This is enough to bring me into another world, another dimension, letting me feel like home. I know then it takes no effort to let my heart remember he was once the child’s who dreamed the universe!

Michel – October 5, 2014