Roughly 37 hours to go before Abner heads out on his inaugural New England storytelling tour! The journey will take him 300 miles across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont — and, of course, Abner will be walking the whole way.
I’ve been asked a couple of times, why is he walking? Why not drive, or at least take the bus? You know he’s just going to get all dirty and smelly out there on the road, and when he shows up at the venue, they probably won’t even let him in the door. So what is the point?
Well, to Abner, the journey is the point. He doesn’t feel like he knows a place until he’s walked through it a few times, and felt the shape of the ground under his feet. He thinks every place has a story, whether it’s a place with a lot of people in it, or just a very few scattered people, or even none at all. When you walk, you get to hear all the stories. When you drive, all you can do is skip ahead.
The same question is sometimes asked another way: what’s so special about walking 300 miles? It’s not like nobody’s ever walked that far before. It’s not like New England is known for its dense, impenetrable jungles or its vast, expressionless deserts. Why make a big deal about it?
That’s true, 300 miles is not that big a deal. To me, this tour is not about the distance covered — it’s about the stories shared. My hope is that we’ll find some place almost every day for Abner to stop and spin a few yarns. We’re getting close to achieving that goal. But the thing is, we wouldn’t have a single venue booked if we never spoke up and said “hey, guess what we’re doing!”
The other question I sometimes hear goes something like this: we know who Abner is. But who are you?
Good question. I am Abner’s alter ego, or perhaps it’s the other way around. Abner tells the stories. Pretty much everything else he leaves to me. So I’ll be blogging about where we are and where we’re going next. I’ll tell you a little bit about the good folks we meet along the way, and answer whatever tour-related questions you might have. And from time to time, Abner might tell you a tale or two from his perspective. Not sure what he might come up with, but you know storytellers: they always seem to see thing a little bit differently …