Why telling stories matters

If any of you out there are reading duckrabbit and are perhaps mulling over some experience you had that moved you, and are wondering whether it’s worth your while telling the story………………..well read on…………………………

I wrote this some time ago: The Decisive Moment 

Then followed it up some time later with this: The Gift of a Story 

If you have not read these you may find they provide some context.


Chissoe on the range © John MacPherson

Last week an email arrived from Nancy Scott Fields, Native American Shaman and Healer, living in Oklahoma.

This is what she said:

“Thank you so much for this beautiful story of my dear friend. We were very close friends throughout the early years of my life. He was my friend, my protector, my brother and I loved him dearly.

I wanted to contact you and tell you about my dear sweet friend Chissoe Iron.  I am Indian and I grew up in Oklahoma.  I am now a Shaman and I was teaching a mediumship class this past weekend and Chissoe came through loud and clear and was the subject of my class.  Now you must know that he rarely comes through unless I ask him to because I have so many ancestors in spirit that they are usually the ones who help me.  This time I asked for someone who was not family.  I had my entire class read me.  I told my class he was my dear friend and I had known him all my life but we had not stayed in close touch with each other toward the end and I was not sure how he died.  I told them I would have to try to contact some of his family and see what happened.  After the class I asked if he could somehow show me how he passed and I got the message to look him up on the internet.  Now he was not a public man and I thought no way would I ever find anything on Chissoe but lo and behold I got your two blogs about meeting Chissoe and the later one on what happened to him and how he passed.

I couldn’t help but laugh about how he stopped you on the road and I know if I didn’t know this guy I would have been scared.  🙂  He was a big guy!  But his demeanor was so kind.

Now how I met him.  I really can’t remember not knowing him in my adult years.  I was in high school and living in Tulsa, OK.  I was a little girl.  5 foot tall and 100 lbs soaking wet.  I was a ballet dancer and kept very fit and trim.  In high school we had a group called the Tulsa Indian Youth Council.  I am Creek and Cherokee Indian and was raised a minister’s daughter and did not powwow.  But the group I met through TIYC were other tribes who did powwow. Now Chissoe was not a part of this group but knew the kids who went to the powwows.  Well somewhere along the line I came into contact with Chissoe.  He just kind of showed up and took it upon himself to be my protector.  Now he was as big then as when you met him.  Back then he was full of spit and vinegar and was a force to be reckoned with!  He could instill fear in anyone with a look.  I still giggle when I think of how he could scare people because he didn’t scare me.  Not one bit!  I thought he was a teddy bear.  He had a heart of gold.  Now just because we were the same age didn’t stop him from calling me baby girl.  That is how he referred to me.  He was my protector and my friend.   Chissoe was always there to rescue me at any given time I needed him.   When I went with my female friends to powwows he slept in the doorway of our tent.  You  know I never really knew his family I just knew him.  He just showed up one day!

 Anyway he was there during my high school years at every powwow, my college years at OU and even after I married and moved to California he was always just a phone call away.  After I moved back to Oklahoma he would occasionally call but with little kids I didn’t venture out to the places he went.  I heard from him right before he passed away.  Even though we were never romantically involved I always thought one day maybe we would end up together.  Well life had different plans.  I miss him everyday.  He talks to me often and still is my protector when I need him to be.  Thank you, this means so much to me to find out about my dear sweet friend. He was very much the same person as a young man as he was when you met him.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It was so so good to see his face in your photographs.  That’s my Chissoe.



Still anguishing over whether to sit and line up all those words in the way that only you can?

Just do it.

Stories are not just words. They are paths along which others may follow. They shape our world, and they live on long after we have gone.

Full stop.

(but it’s not really………………………………..

Author — John Macpherson

John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 30 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

Discussion (1 Comment)

  1. Pamela iron says:

    Chissoe is my little brother in law. How did you know him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.