Come to WTB and hear profound, personal stories … and if you wish, share your own. Our program on storytelling began with three women sharing little stories from their lives.
A snippet of a choir song still remembered from a girls’ school in London in the ‘40s: “Let us now praise famous men and fathers that begat them,” and later in the song: “… yet some there be that have no memorial, but their names liveth for evermore.” Perhaps that gave rise to Joan Burstyn’s openness to the feminist movement in the 1970s and involvement as an editor in “The Women’s Project in New Jersey” in the 1980s. This was a huge project and involved research of 300 women in New Jersey past (way back to the natives on the continent before the Europeans arrived) and present and included 250 writers. Now that is a memorial!
A challenge from a pastor at a Unification Church to travel and get to know about other cultures that led Joy Pople to a trip to the Central African Republic (unaware of the US State Department’s travel advisory because of riots). She ended up in a small village where there was so much love and so little food that the women from many households would contribute a little to a common pot so that all would eat. The trip led to many African visitors staying with her family for various lengths of time over the years.
During a trip to a farm for a day of horseback riding. at the end of the day, waiting around for friends, Danya Wellmon saw a malnourished, rescued horse that had been mistreated. The horse needed her so she purchased the horse and nursed him back to health slowly over time. Healing was received as well as given. Years later, another horse seemed to understand her emotions, and came over to her for a touch when needed most. Animals can give us so much, and we can learn from them.
These three women got us thinking; we were enthralled by their little stories and we broke up into six small groups and all shared stories. Then we switched to different groups and did it again. Some were about family members, some were about animals, and some were about fateful occurrences. It was gratifying and interesting, touching and poignant. Stories were funny, sad, loving, fascinating, surprising.
We were all treated to a sampling of the beautiful, useful and unique craft items made by our Bhutanese and Nepalese friends, more of which can be found displayed at the Art Mart this holiday season.
As we went home, everyone felt good with all the connections we made.