Welcome to “of Wit and Whiskey” (Or: Why I Write)

“Our stories are medicine” -Kevin Loring.
I’ve been thinking about those words since I read them following the Canadian Government’s decision to provide zero dollars for the inaugural Indigenous Theatre season at the National Arts Centre, (while we’re on the subject, I encourage you to read Kevin’s statement, and Kim Harvey’s response to it before diving fully into this post. They’re far more urgent than anything I’m about to say) and have been thinking about the concept a lot longer. Aside from the social and political importance of heeding Indigenous teachings, that’s just an incredibly smart, important, and powerful idea.

I think I’ve always known on some level that stories are more than just entertaining diversions (although an entertaining diversion is certainly medicinal in its own right). My upbringing in a liberal pocket of western society has led me to understand how the stories we tell both reflect and shape the larger story colloquially referred to as our culture. But modern liberal western society’s proclivity for “rational” detachment from our own humanity has obscured a larger truth: the act of stories and the connections we find in doing so is good for us. It heals. Stories are medicine.

So this blog is my medicine. My way of reckoning with the increasingly volatile world I hardly recognize, a counter-narrative to the hateful, divided story of terror and trauma I see playing out around me on a daily basis. I hope, through this commitment to the act of telling a story once a week (whether personal or fictional, literal or allegorical, abstract or direct) to increase the number of net positive stories in the world and to engage creatively with our collective story rather than simply disconnecting through unfocussed rage and despair. Finally (and, as a compulsive pleaser and reckless empath, perhaps most importantly) I hope to heal myself with the medicine of story. I invite you, whoever you are, to come along and heal with me.

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