Not my father, but my mother, is a story teller. She is at the epicenter of my narrative inclination. Her masterful exaggeration taught me that the narrator must sell a story to an audience – that you have to do all it takes to make your story listenable, you go the extra mile because you can.
She repeated the outlandish stories:
- A woman who was pregnant for 4 years
- A man and his son who were stealing yam and looked up and saw a big eye looking down at them
- How she spent a full night fighting (and eventually overpowering) a man who locked her up and tried to rape her
I want to think that I inherited a fiery imagination from my mother. Imagination rooted in plausibility: she taught me to think of the world as a plot of super/natural happenings. You find the element of the outlandish, but you retain the element of the listenable.
It’s Women’s History Month and my mother is my narrative hero. It was her who taught me, in her own way, to pray a profound prayer.
“God deliver me from text that prattles.”