Profile in Courage

Last month I wrote about Ronni Bennet’s blog, The Elder Storytelling Place, alerting readers that you can submit stories there for publication. I’m a firm believer in taking my own advice, and yesterday’s edition featured my story, “Profile of Courage.”

This story does tell of a specific event in my life. However, it’s more than a mere narrative. I link two stories to tell a tale of a hero of sorts, a young man who dared to try eight times to get a date for prom, and how that story involved and inspired me, at the time and decades later.

It’s not a simple story. It also chronicles the initial flutterings of feminist, activist seeds germinating in my tender heart, long before the faintest green shoots appeared. That’s a lot of story to cover in a mere 720 words.

I originally wrote this story in August, 2001, so it’s well-aged. I didn’t set out to write with any specific purpose other than to chronicle the memory and immortalize Walter’s courage. It has been sitting in my file, both on the computer and in print, for the duration. Now, as I thumbed through the pile looking for something suitable for Ronni’s blog, it rose to the top. It didn’t need much work. Pure writing, straight from the heart, usually tells its own story more eloquently than we’d be able to do from our own wits and efforts. After all this time the story still rang true, to both purpose and my voice.

I offer this story to the world at large as a testament to courage, and an example of how some stories need to ripen and come of age before it’s time to press them into service. It never hurts to have a story on hand when opportunity presents itself. What have you got lurking in your archives? I’ll bet at least one story would fly high on The Elder Storytelling Place. Write your own profile in courage and give it a shot.

Write on,

Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal


Tara said...

What a great story. I bet Walter didn't even realize what a difference he would make years later. I give him credit to for being persistent!

Ritergal said...

Which one of us ever realizes we'll make a difference years later? All I know is that I make ripples in the ether as I pass through, and my ripples affect others as surely as I'm affected clueless people like Walter. My deepest hope is that more of those ripples are uplifting than not.

It's a funny thing about those ripples. They are not subject to the flow of time the way we think of it. Quite often I feel the lap of a ripple from something someone said or did decades ago.

Memory is not subject to the linear flow of time. And thus we have stories to celebrate, explore and maybe explain life.