Blogger and storyteller Leah Lamb is our newest addition to See the Elephant. She will be writing a monthly article called Weird on the Web, part of our Cabinet of Wonders. The first installment will be coming next week, but in the meantime, I wanted to ask Leah about being weird.
Melanie Lamaga: Welcome, Leah! Since your going to be blogging about weird art, literature, history and science on the web, I thought you might like to tell us about your own weird-worthy history.
Leah Lamb: I loved your definition of weird, “The best weird gives you the feeling or realization that the world is not quite what you thought it was.” I’m a mythic storyteller, and create Soul Stories [www.medicinestories.com]. It is one of the oldest forms of storytelling, Clarissa Pinkola Estes refers to it as using El Duarte, to reflect the soul of the listener.
In essence I intuit a story for the person who requested a story that is about their soul journey and speaks through the language of symbol, myth, and archetypes. It feels like work that stands in the foot steps of a long lineage of storytellers and gives people access to a language and way to understand themselves that is being lost in our modern day world. It’s powerful and potent to get to have your own story to work with, and I just love it.
ML: How did you get started doing weird things on the web?
LL: Well that is a weird story! After working as a wilderness guide off on and on for seven years, and getting a masters degree, I moved to San Francisco and worked with Al Gore’s television network, Current TV on launching their green chanel. We had a big mission: democratize the media. It was a fast forward pole vault into understanding what works well on the web, and how we, as consumers, create the world of news and information we want to consume.
ML: What are your favorite flavors of weird and what can we expect from the column?
LL: I love to be fascinated. Exceptional design, people thinking outside the box, books that explore innovative concepts, as an artist and creator I am always looking for things that will expand or shift my perspective.
ML: What is your favorite weird book?
LL: When you ask of all time, for some reason I jump back to the very first book that expanded how I thought about the world. Madeline L’Engle’s book, “A Wrinkle in Time,” rocked my world. “The Grapes of Wrath”…that final scene where the man drinks from the breast of the woman who just lost her child…that scene has stayed with me a life time, how even in the horror of the greatest loss, we can save the life and nourish another.