It’s the small things that make up some of the best stories [Bound Feet Blues]

We often think that stories need to be grand and on an epic scale to be compelling. We think that great stories involve heroic, larger than life characters. And so, we come to believe that our own stories mean very little because they happen on such a small scale compared to people who have been through war, disaster, terrible illnesses and events that seem “Worthy” of recognitiion.

I am of course not disrespecting the trauma and suffering of people who have been through those harsh and terrible experiences. Those stories are meaningful and need to be told.

Storytelling round a campfire

Storytelling round a campfire

But other stories have their place too. Stories on a smaller, less epic scale also have meaning and need to be told.

My focus as a story performer is to bring to my audience the power of small moments.

In my TEDx talk, I told the story of a small, intimate moment – a kiss. It was a small moment but it had a meaningful and lasting impact on my life. For 18 minutes, that story held the 250+ audience at TEDxCoventGardenWomen spellbound. The story takes us on a journey from my unhappy, lawyer self who was desparate to fit in to an awakening of my heart through a gentle friendship, and to a single moment that changed my life. It’s not a big, epic story. Nothing happened beyond the kiss with this wonderful person. And yet, it had momentous consequences for my life.

Similarly, in Bound Feet Blues, I tell stories about the love that binds mothers and daughters, sisters and human hearts. I hope that this full length story performance will be equally spellbinding as we journey together through the small moments in the lives of several women across centuries. My aim is to tell the story with minimal effects – just me, my voice, my performance and my story – just in the way that we would have told – and listened to – stories from time immemorial. I want to recreate that sense of community and tribe, of people coming together to share wisdom – in the way that mothers passed on wisdom to their daughters through stories for generations.

Part of my purpose as story performer is to encourage people to look at their own lives and their own stories and see those small moments for themselves – moments of tenderness, joy, pain, struggle that they experienced which have all added up to making them who they are. All those moments matter, even though they may not be on an epic scale. And perhaps particularly because they are not on an epic scale. Those small moments matter. You matter. We all matter. Embracing our stories – our strengths and also our failings – means that we can embrace the whole of who are and be confident and also vulnerable in our full humanity.

Find out more about Bound Feet Blues at www.BoundFeetBlues.co.uk

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