‘A bunch of stories’
Shortly after embarking on the Iona Community’s Oral History Project, I faced a challenging question-time at a meeting of Iona Community members in London. One questioner was particularly dismissive of the concept of Oral History: ‘It’ll just be a bunch of stories, won’t it?’
He was partly right. The resulting Project is a bunch of stories. But to dismiss them as ‘just stories’ implies that there is some ultimate, objective ‘truth’ that we can appeal to as arbiter of our experience.
In the event, far from downgrading the value of stories, this Project has powerfully reinforced for me the need to acknowledge that ‘stories’ are all we have.
‘Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face’.