The other day I complimented someone on his story-telling ability.
Whenever he talks I shut up and listen; he has my full and complete attention. He opens his mouth and the words pour out, weighted and measured and perfectly aligned into achingly beautiful and sometimes gut-wrenchingly raw stories. I may be exaggerating a little, but still... and they're true stories, which happen to be my absolute favorite. The words crack through all the pretending and all the organized outer layers so many of us have. He portrays life as he experiences it which is often far more lovely and beautiful even in it's inevitable suffering than I am brave enough to experience, most of the time. I'm usually far too busy compulsively protecting myself from pain and failing miserably. Emphasis on miserable. (Actually, no! I'm getting better!)
Anyhow. I told him he was a master wordsmith. Well, I might have phrased it more like, "hey, um, you're, like, really good at... words... and stuff."
He grinned humbly and replied, eyes-twinkling, "well I was a lawyer."
I laugh. Of COURSE he was a lawyer.
I ask if he writes. I hope he has books. Or a blog.
He says no. He says he's too afraid to write.
I am stunned.
So I resolve to write poorly and despite my own fear and lack of skill and time and patience and knowledge. I do like my own true stories and who else can tell them? Maybe if I tell mine others will feel more comfortable telling theirs.