The Luminous Power of Storytelling | Hackie | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

The Luminous Power of Storytelling 

Rereading this week's Hackie column got me thinking about the stories we tell one another, and how that process binds us in our common humanity.

In "The Back Story," I find out that a regular customer - Chase, a man that I've much appreciated and admired - spent the better portion of his twenties as a marijuana dealer, and not a nickel-and-dimer at that. As a result of his sharing this intense piece of personal history, I feel as if I understand him so much better. And, I would bet, Chase feels that as well.

Susan Cheever, the daughter of the brilliant author, John Cheever, wrote a memoir about her father. During an NPR interview with Terry Gross, Susan said this about the functioning principle of Alcoholic's Anonymous:  Connecting with another is the highest level of human spirituality, and we connect through our stories.

This statement moved me immensely. On one level, I've always suspected that we're all in AA, whether we acknowledge it or not. By this I mean that we're all beholden, to various degrees, to our lower natures. Perhaps our life's journey is defined by the struggle to rise above, to hear, what somebody has called, "our higher angels."

Storytelling for me works on just these levels. I'm moved and honored by the stories shared with me (both in and out of the taxicab), and I'm moved in another way when I retell the stories in my writing, or speak them in heart-to-heart conversations with my kith and kin.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Jernigan Pontiac

Jernigan Pontiac

Bio:
Jernigan Pontiac was a Burlington cab driver whose biweekly "Hackie" column appeared in Seven Days 2000-20. He has published two book-length collections, Hackie: Cab Driving and Life, and Hackie 2: Perfect Autumn.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Hackie

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation