Gesture and Expression

After considering the true essence of what it is to tell a story I have come to the realization that the most important qualities that story-telling inhabits is the gesture and expression that is communicated. I believe that without such qualities, it looses its meaning.

I began to dig deeper into this idea of the process of telling stories and broke it down into three essential parts

Experience: hearing a story from someone else or experiencing a day to day or unique encounter

Processing: then one begins to think about this experience and begins to form their own understanding of that situation

Express: then the person or storyteller tells others about this experience.

This process happens on a day-to-day encounter and is a large part of our human experience. This act of story telling is the way in which we live. The expression of self and our human experiences. People thrive for such entertainment and the true act of expression becomes essential in ones life.

These ideas of gesture and expression become a means of communication. Without these people begin to miss interpreter or make up the account.

For this Narratorium I want to begin to address the cities interaction with story telling on a more intimate informal level. I also perceive a space that allow for more of a formal level as well.

I also have this idea of a vocal and gesture gallery that are basically these hall ways that begin to literally speak and as you are passing through this hall way there are stories being told that you can either stop and listen to or catch fragments of numerous stories that begin to merge to one. The walls show projections of gestures that go along with the stories.

I know that I also want a café to line the street edge of the structure that overlooks the informal story telling narration space.


Narratorium Proposal

Narratorium, a place where stories are to be told. Stories in various displays generally told by an individuals, rather than books. Books being a means of storage for a narrative. The real story is truly interpreted when told by an individual. The unfolding narration of a physical, a verbal, or expressive interpretation begins to surface the essence of storytelling. There are several ways in which to reiterate a story, such as books, movies, music etc.

Stories in this understanding can be fiction or nonfiction, although I believe them to be more non-fictional, and have to do with real life experiences. Story telling is a large part of everyone’s life. We tell stories several times a day. We also pay a great deal of money to see plays and operas, which are conditions of live storytelling. As humans we strive to have human interaction and for drama. We continuously reinterpret our personal experiences to others, which is a means of telling a story. We also capture history thorough a series of telling stories.

I really believe that storytelling has more to do with a human interaction. Having that human contact with someone, rather then a false way of communication. To truly understand the story in its full context we need to have the physical manifestation. Seeing the person’s expression and gestures add many details to the story.

So to me this allows several ways of interpretation, as long as the person is physically present when experiencing the storytelling process. Narrations, Music, Plays, Operas, Musicals, Historical folklore are all an approach of storytelling.

For this place to be a Narratorium it should comprise of not only places to tell these stories but also casual places to allow for interaction to occur to create stories, also for storytelling.


General concept of the structure
A Narratorium being a place of story telling I see this structure as though it tells a story of its own and is very honest. It begins to display the stories of the many that inhabit it.

Performance Space
For these performances of storytelling, we begin to see the need for several spaces or one space that allows for the many conditions of storytelling. I see this space as a tailored auditorium that can allow for a small-personalized space or also allow for a large group of people.

Practice Space
I feel as though a space is needed for the formal performances of storytelling to be practiced, this space will be something of a series of small spaces that are soundproofed and allow for small audience.

Gathering Space
This space is to be a place of social gathering, before, after performances, also for just the purpose of social interaction. Seeing this space as very open and welcoming.

Personalized gathering and thinking space
This space has the purpose of social interaction between the storytellers, a place for these people to come together and express their thoughts to one another, sharing experiences and gathering thoughts, possibly also a place for recording thoughts and reading if necessary.

Casual social spaces
These spaces are to be used by the general public but also exposed to the rest of the program of the structure. I envision these spaces to consist of coffee shops, and a place for the general public to interact.

Service space
These spaces are needed for all structures but I believe that this Narratorium these spaces should be honest service because they begin to reveal the story of the structure. These elements of the structure I see as revealed and exposed.


This facility is to consist of many people. The main people that will inhabit these spaces will be the people that will be telling the stories, which are from Portland that want to tell their stories, formal or informal Many people will be invited to tell their stories from all over the world, in a more formal setting.

There will need to be the general staff such as janitorial services, book keeping, service staff, and people that work for the coffee shops



Book Map

Coffee shop (Shaver and Mississippi)

I can still smell the remnants of her luscious auburn locks, that sweet aroma, bringing me back the countless mornings that we spent here together. The morning I met such a sophisticated beauty, and from then, this very table, very time, every Sunday. The echoes of coffee that cover her tender expression remind me of my beginning of love and infatuation for her and life. I arrived here early to ensure the table that we always sat at together, not wanting to lose her existence. sitting across an empty chair only imagining her fair features, matured but still picturesque, I long to see the smile that would linger across her face. Liking the dull smell of coffee and aged essence, the way the tables have the ridge that gathers her crumbs. Impatient to embrace our past, I clear my dish, the wooden heels of my boots share a significant presence in this space. Even over the loud coffee and the conversations that fill the room as I walk towards the exit.

I open the creaking door, leaving the growing commotion eager to embraces the path we always took, taking a right out the door and heading toward Failing Street.

Turn on failing

Empty this time, absent of the warmth of her petite hands. East on Failing Street where my history with her exists.

This street brought her back to her childhood, telling stories and memories including the ones that I shared with her. She gave light to my trivial existence. I miss her radiance and relaxed aura. Blue fenced home diminishing to its mortality.
She eternally asks me, "Does it ever feel like you're the only one paying attention?"

Unthank Park

Discovering Unthank Park, how could I disregard the countless days we wasted away on the swings pondering our existence in serenity, listening to the Sunday morning’s break.

Fate and Hailing ( walking failing)

She appreciated the latest addition to this corner; I can picture her heavenly smile, the place I found her soul. A beginning to a beautiful conclusion.

We would always cross Faight at Hailing where the ducks occasionally appeared.
Mystified clouds that sheltered and consumed the streets always lead me this way, partial to the way my boots thud against the path, making noise with no comment, inclined to her discoveries, I need not say no.

Turn on Fremont

Lost in the empty sounds of my wooden heels I glance up to see the oddly placed, unadorned church, filled with lost souls. This prohibits me from continuing south

Turning on Vancouver

East once more. Trees reach over the dampened sidewalk, a puddle that redirects me to cross, pursuing my stride south on Vancouver

Freshly painted bright green structure never apt to remain unmarked.

Walking South on Vancouver

A past in which history endures to be shattered, reminiscences struggle to be recovered. Much learned about the identity to the left, that the right fashioned.

The way in which the trees embraced her as she wandered drifting to a distant world for this short moment of 47 steps.

Trees opening up, an awkward end to such a mystifying place.

Downtown Albina

Times perception gave me reason why she did these beautiful unpredictable acts.

Sun peaks and you knew where she was to be found.
Laying her delicate curls amongst the blades of grass, watching the clouds float by, forever missing in her thoughts, the times I laid with her, she told of the stories this place held. Each blade of grass, a replacement for a memory of what was formerly known as the home and center for many, once a town of its own.

Turn on Russell

Peek of a field to the southwest, a tender acquaintance.

Slowly the school appears, emotions begin to surface

The feeling of apprehension amongst my feet distracts my emotions for an instant. Silent shouts of children imagined as I walk across the field. Curiosity continuing to reoccur, though knowing what lies behind the raised concrete.

Basketball court

Surface adjusts, solid yet again, each tread walked fills my heart with expectancy of her manifestation. I contact the step where all is revealed, she stands hands grasp the cold chain link fence, the silhouette of her frame captured by the grey heavens, her long curls blow in the air, hearing me near, her body shifts and glances this way serenely, never thinking to see the grace of her face once more. I peek quickly to assure the last stride I look up

Imagination took me away, my heart sinks drained of hope.
Why do I suffer such grief? I long for her presence once more.
An urge to touch my lips softly against her delicate cheek, same surface against my back when she initiated these intimate acts that will be engraved in my memory for eternity.

I am lost now, hanging my head, disconcerned with the somber sky that eats away the vista
After prolonged remnants of her walking through my scattered thought

Going out on Paige Street

Leaving the recollection of my illusions
Page Street channels me to what was her house, warehouses and decaying homes miscellaneous
Unwanted art works posted; she would find this exquisite.

Turning on Williams then back onto Thompson Street

Cross Williams, south I spot the Trillium Garden. Turn left

Her past there more than mine, caught up in my selfish thoughts I long to caress her soft hands. I grow sorrowful as I approach her past.

Her street Thompson

Not understanding why she had to leave me, she was not one to deserve such a condition, a pure soul always full of joy.
My body pulls me along as my mind resists. I don’t want to face the pain that was bestowed upon her. More surreal as I approach, this place not the same since she left. Overwhelmed with emotion, Cold and Grey the only color that remains is green, her house green, the blades of damp grass, and the treetops. Green, green, green, my feet stop me and unconsciously my body turns 205 NE Thompson.

I feel as though my heart has been pulled right out of my chest. What am I to do without her? As I stand here remembering all the wonderful times that we spent together, what I would give to feel the warmth of her soft skin against mine once more. Or soft sweet lips with a subtle taste of honey.

Glioblastoma Multiforme, a brain tumor that toke her away from me and the beautiful life she lived. She accepted it and told me I would be with her again in the heavens. All remaining is the essence of a memory.


Fresh Pot

The click and the clanks constant and abrupt. Interrupting my eavesdropping. The delightful noise drowned out sweet mummers and giggles of the gals that sit so close I can almost smell the sweet lavender that they bathed with this morning. This place of hardwood floors and rustic tables so old and popular. It is very apparent that this place was once a local drug store. The symbols on the tables and one on the floor. Also the sign that hangs with pride. People flowing in and out rapidly. Two now. Skin and bones she has bad posture and short hair. Dull colors she wears. Ass the man in the red sweater rubs her back. She graciously ignores him as he tries to grab her attention not wanting to be touched, not wanting to be talked to. She gives in and her buggy eyes look up at him quickly with a faint smile. Bringing her coffee up to her lips slowly she stops and whispers something to the man quietly. Just now hearing the faint squeak of her petite voice mentioning something about possibilities. Her posture revealing a sense of insecurity. A unhealthy figure yet a bit of her tummy is revealed. Now four. Her ears still peek out of her short hair, and a subtle petite nose, she looks as though she could be a fairy. If she were I would name her Lelo. A cute old man appears from the backdoor little glasses rest upon his face and her wears an unfitting baseball cap. Confident in his work he heads out the front door with an empty dolly. The clicking of heals against the wood floors and the faint sound of the door fluttering shut, the music that was droned out and added to the sweet sounds of busyness drifted away. The awkwardly skinny lady and her other moved to a table out of sight. As the music reappears a richer old man steps in with his rebus woman somewhat out of place yet joyful and wide awake. The little old man stands on the opposite corner where all the commotion exists under a quaint old clock. I admire his presence. He goes through his paper work waiting for a coffee maker to come sign so he can be off. Even though he longs to stay and enjoy a cup of coffee and a bit of conversation. The cute little girl that sits quietly in front of me eating her doughnut. One leg under her butt and another cant quite reach the floor. The heater feels nice on my back. A young man walks in a baseball cap on, a chain, jersey and Nikes. Not quite like the others here. Ten now. The young man walks out impatiently so I thought come to find out only to retrieve money. A lady with a cute puppy waits in line, the dog edger to retrieve the little girls crumbs. Many people, someone at every table. I wonder if someone will invite himself or herself to join me. Now only two. The sounds raise higher, laughing and talking combined with the clicks and clanks and the beat of the music. My presence within this place is limited I have no understanding of what is to come. Out of quite coincidence the young man same as before asks to join me. I don’t refuse opportunity for a new conversation then just with myself. After he settles in stirs his tea then gives me his name. Donovan. Then asks for mine in return. Small talk begins of the adorable little girl sitting close, then off into many tangents. Much learned about such a stranger. He gets up to use the restroom. A wooden duck lands on the floor. Three now. He returns with a paper and something about the seals. A friend of his joins us at the small table and introduces himself. Broody? I could not hear me that well behind all the pleasant noise. Unsure of how much to interest myself in there conversation.