Talk Story

“All of that was swimming through my head the evening I finally called the pups together again to talk story.”  The Wolf’s Trail: An Ojibwe Story, Told By Wolves by Thomas D. Peacock

We are sharing a cabin for a few days, resting on Lake Superior with our longtime friends from Minnesota. We always look forward to relaxing and catching up on our lives and there’s nothing better than sitting on the deck overlooking the lake, listening to the waves sweep the shore’s rocks while we chatter, read a good book, and just close our eyes, absorbing the sun. 

Before my husband and I traveled to the cabin, we spent time with our son and his family living in Buffalo, Minnesota. One afternoon, while waiting to pick up our five-year-old granddaughter from school, I spent two hours at the independent bookstore downtown, Buffalo Books & Coffee. I stumbled across the book written by Peacock, an Ojibwe teaching story, and was immediately entranced. It’s a story about the wolves’ love for each other and the Anishinaabe people. 

In the novel, Peacock uses two simple, directive words—”talk story.” Later in the book, he tells the young pups “…run towards your thoughts.” I love that. It’s advice for writers, too. We talk story and run towards our thoughts, capturing them, and writing them down for ourselves, and others, if we so choose. Recording oral and written tradition, even our own, serves a meaningful purpose, connecting us with each other, guiding us forward.