My story runs through this place

The beach

Our stories are tied up with places, told over time

Mine are the only footprints on this beach: stretching in front of me as i trace my return journey. I am toe to toe with myself as i wander back along the shoreline, the sun setting ruby red into the sea behind me. Far out, a fishing boat, also working his way home. We run along parallel for a while until i turn inland and he churns on, fleeing the setting sun.

My journey doesn’t just go along the beach, it goes back in time: this is a place i’ve known my whole life. The slope i walk up now, across the sand dunes, this place i remember when it and i were young in endless summers of adventure.

It’s been a good week: writing, reflecting, reading. A creative time. When we ran unhindered by time in the sand there was no internet and no mobile phone to call us back, so now i make sure i look up from the screen to see the dusk colours and free myself from the desk to walk out along the beach.

Uninhibited curiosity

I’ve been working on ideas around ‘creativity, co-creation and agility‘. Monday was daunting as a blank screen stared back at me. By tuesday i’d thrown out most of my preparation from the last month and satisfied myself in capturing a series of single pages, which i called ‘principles‘ capturing a key part of my thinking. Once i had them, i strung them together to make a story and today i fleshed that story out.

It felt hard: not hard like painting or writing poetry, hard because i’m afraid of failure: when i deliver this in two weeks, it’s largely new. My words are unrehearsed, my ideas are young, still playing in the endless summer. In time, they will become familiar, comforting, stories told and retold, but for now they are wild.

It’s been deliberate: to explore creativity, you have to liberate yourself from routine and habit. The phrase i captured that i love most is ‘uninhibited curiosity‘.

That’s what we need: we need to be uninhibited in our curiosity, in our learning. Willing to take risks and step outside the familiar.

When i was young, i remember once at the end of a holiday here running onto the beach and rubbing my head in the sand, to fill my hair with it. Everyday in this blustery coastal space your hair traps the sand and by deliberately adding to this i hoped to keep the feeling alive that much longer. Perhaps before i realised that memories do this for us: that our stories keep our learning alive.

Today, my stories are anchored here, in the fields and dunes, in the sound of the sea as i fall asleep, in the lichens on the stones and the trees swaying in the breeze. In time the ideas i have today will become part of me: shared with my community, refined, developed, adapted. Everything we touch is part of our journey.

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
This entry was posted in Learning, Stories, Storytelling and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to My story runs through this place

  1. ksfinblog says:

    To leave the shore and sail into the chaos once more…good luck

  2. Pingback: My story runs through this place @julianstodd |...

  3. benoitdavid says:

    Very interesting…. unihibited curiosity. Flushing out thoughts, letting go, letting our minds wander and let dots connect themselves… We do it on our own, alone in our heads, triggered by our senses, reaching out to our memories, forming and morphing a story, and we do it with others, inserting now “dots” in a now communal story, which all present can appreciate and include in their own treasure chest inside their heads. Look forward to hear about your experiment, as I feel like putting one or two together myself… 🙂

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