The story was the bushman’s most sacred possession. These people knew what we do not; that without a story you have not got a nation, or culture, or civilization. Without a story of your own, you haven’t got a life of your own. — Laurens Van der Post
People did not wait until there was writing before they told stories and sang songs. — Albert Bates Lord
To be a person is to have a story to tell. — Isak Dinesen
Have you ever entered an empty stadium? Try it. Stand in the middle of the field and listen. There is nothing less empty than an empty stadium. There is nothing less mute than stands bereft of people.
At Wembley, shouts from the ’66 World Cup which England won still resound, and if you listen very closely you can hear groans from 1953 when England fell to the Hungarians. Montevideo’s Centenario Stadium sighs with nostalgia for the glory days of Uruguayan football. Maracana is still crying over Brazil’s 1950 World Cup defeat.
At Bombonera in Buenos Aires, drums boom from half a century ago. From the depths of Azteca Stadium, you can hear the ceremonial chants of the ancient Mexican ball game. The concrete terraces of the Nou Camp in Barcelona speak Catalan, and the stands of San Mames in Bilbao talk in Euskera.
In Milan, the ghost of Giuseppe Meazza scores goals that shake the stadium bearing his name. The final of the ’74 World Cup, won by Germany, is played day after day and night after night at Munich’s Olympic Stadium.
The stadium of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia has marble and gold boxes and carpeted stands, but it has no memory or much of anything to say.