Everyone has a thousand stories. Or ten thousand. Or one. We are surrounded by stories in movies, newspapers, television, books, magazines, and it's easy to lose sight of the stories that we ourselves are living except at times of major life events, or crisis. However, I believe that our stories deserve to be told, and heard. That's not to say every story needs to be published (can you imagine that... bookshops with books tumbling out the front door like mushrooms growing), but when someone's life stories are written down, they are given a focus that often allows a wider perspective, or more detail to be recalled, or some hidden aspect to be revealed. Connections are made, and meaning is found. Then there is the chance to share your story, with your family, your friends, your grandchildren.
I have an enormous number of journals, going back to my teens. I once told a young friend I planned to burn them one day, full as they are with my most angst ridden thoughts, as I would not want anyone to read them. He said, "But imagine if you were given a box of old diaries written by your grandmother, your great grand mother. Imagine reading how life was for her, written in the language of her time."
I still may burn those journals one day, but it made me aware of how valuable ordinary stories can be, because I would indeed love to find such a treasure trove.
I have run many groups with a focus on people's life stories, and over and over I have witnessed the delight when people write and then read out to the group, something that has emerged from the act of writing. Writing is a powerful act. We often think of it as a means to an end, but it is, in itself, a way to tap into the memory and the imagination.
Till next time,