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....telling stories

The healing that can grow out of the simple act of telling our stories is often quite remarkable. 
~ Susan Wittig Albert




What is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.
Audre Lorde


Last night I sat at the table with my family listening to my daughter tell stories of her two month long journey in India.....She told about the poverty, the smell of burning garbage, begging and youthful entrepreneurs who saw her as money.  She told of the postal systems, arbitrary closures of the post offices and not having stamps for purchase, 'come back tomorrow.'  She told of the difficulty of trying to mail a small package from a village in the Himalayas.  Being told she needed to take it to the local tailor so he could sew a white cloth pouch around it and also make the correct address label, which also needed to be of white cloth and stitched to the pouch.   


 She told about being stranded in a small unknown town and how it is a little scary but how in this otherworldly land  she could afford a taxi to a safe hotel, which would not be the case had she been stranded in L.A.... and she told about her 'Goa Tattoo..a large circular scar from a burn she acquired while riding the  small  Honda motorbike she road each day and the varies medical advice she was given to keep her safe from infection...she told about the dull Indian boys and the beautiful ones.....she shared the magic of  buses that are decorated flags and bells, and how they play infectious music for the travelers... she told of hang-gliding and haggling... ...she told us about her new sister who traveled with her for a bit and there plans to meet again.


As she spoke I saw a different young woman,....one who spoke of her love for a place so 'real'....
India in all it's chaos and glory and how she can't wait to return...  I saw her new self-confidence for having negotiated it alone......
she is braver in the world...
I know her better through her stories, see her stronger.  


I had a brief encounter with a woman selling jewelry at  our local 'Peddlers Faire'......She commented on my amber ring and told me how a friend of hers had actually found a very large piece of amber in Mexico and how it had an insect frozen in flight inside.  How her friend had been offered a lot of money for it....but won't part with it.  She told me that it felt magical to hold it.  I remarked that there is magic everywhere.  She agreed...and told me how she sees all that is wrong in the world but she stays hopeful that caring people can turn things around.  She told me how she is often called a Pollyanna...but how at the end of the day she has many reasons to smile...


I told her how I am told I live in LaLa Land several times a month...and she took my hand and said, "I welcome all from LaLa Land"
...our eyes met and  we felt the connection of two hopefuls in the world.
As I backed out of her booth to move on and join my friends, we folded our hands in prayer and honored our moment of connection with a small bow
....it happened that on that day I was feeling a little wary of  LaLa Land as a negative andI was lifted by the recognition of my sister tribeswoman....


Stories are everywhere, we all have them just waiting to be told.
We journal and keep diaries....
Technology today makes it easier than ever to reach out and connect through blogs and social networking....
Pictures of family, friends and travels fly around the internet....
People are communicating as they never have before.....we long for stories that will shift us into connections with other humans.
We are showing  who we are...finding our commonalities....
Stories allow us to step into another human's reality.  We learn from each others laughter and tears.  We don't have to agree..but we can but we can be respectful of our differences.


Passing down of stories makes us stronger in the world...
we feel our history and  when we do we understand better who we are...
It is my hope that with our hearts inside our stories and in our listening,
 we will find we have more in common than we imagined. 
...that mostly we all want the same things..
to walk tall in the world...
held up by love of family and community, 
.....to feel safe on this little blue miracle.


I don't think we can have community without sharing our stories....
but we are telling, and at some point we will see each other as one tribe,  and maybe then we will no longer have the stomach to exploit the land and it's people, we won't accept war as the answer to every disagreement and manufactured fear.  
We will find the peacemakers and give them voice...
We will address the greed of a few who are destroying so many and so much.


Let's tell our stories.



"No one can lie, no one can hide anything, 
when he looks directly into someone's eyes."
Paulo Coelho

"Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker.  When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, 
"intensely interested listening, our spirits expand."
Sue Patton Thoele


"The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the ordinary."
Ralph Waldo Emerson



5 comments:

Healing Woman said...

I loved this post Julie. I loved hearing the "stories" your daughter told of her trip. I felt as though I were there in the way you told the tale. You have inspired me to tell more of the many, many stories I hold dear to me. Last weekend at our Farmer's Market, where I sell my work, I met a Native America lady and told her stories of my studies with the Hopi's. She was entranced and when I finished, she thanked me profusely. She was longing for stories of her people but hardly ever heard any.

Thanks for this wonderful post. You speak the truth.

julie said...

Thank you Cheryl. Yes, we need to tell....and hear, stories...I heard this one....a very well off young college student was asked by his journalism professor to go out and find someone he would never normally have contact with and ask them to tell their story. For reasons he didn't fully understand the assignment scared him to death. So he waited until the night before it was due and then panicked...the only person he could interview now was the housekeeper, someone he saw everyday but rarely spoke too. He went to her door and tapped softly...when she came to the door he explained his plight and asked if she would tell him her story..she called him into her tiny room and said, 'every night I lay here alone and rehearse the story of my life, I just been waiting for some one to ask."...isn't that lovely...oh, how we need more connections...xoxo

Angela Recada said...

Oh my. This post is magical and wise in so many ways, dear Julie. Just like you. Thank you! I admire your daughter very much, she's an old soul, isn't she? What a life she will have!
xoxoxo

Marilyn said...

Wonderful post. Enchanting stories of another land and culture.

julie said...

Hi...glad the post was enjoy...yes, Angela, in many ways she is an old adventurous spirit...and I can see her as that when I let go of the fact she is my baby..lol...she is on a quest to have each chapter of her book hold memories worthy of writng down...passing on....so yes, she has a life...I have grey hair..lol

Thank you Marilyn...she is already saving for a return trip in a few months...India is big...takes time...and it's very, very, very, far from Coarsegold...sigh

xoxo

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