Give, give, give--what is the point of having experience, knowledge or talent if I don't give it away? Of having stories if I don't tell them to others?
Of having wealth if I don't share it?
I don't intend to be cremated with any of it!
It is in giving that I connect with others, the world and with the divine. Isabel Allende
As I wrote yesterday, a dear friend of mine passed away on Sunday. She was a well-loved folklorist as well as a friend to so many people. It's been interesting to read others stories today of their interactions with her. I've wanted to share mine, but I'm not sure I can put it into words, or better, I don't have the story form yet in which to put it.
We all have stories to tell, stories to share.
Did you know:
- The human brain remembers best in narratives rather than facts, bullet points, lists? If information is placed in a narrative, it is retained.
- Children learn best through stories.
- We think in narratives - rather than lists. Even if it's a story/list - first I did, then I did, then I did . . .
- When we tell stories we put that information out to the universe as a way of sharing a portion of ourselves.
- As people age, telling and gathering their stories becomes more important. For as well tell our stories, a portion of ourselves lives on long after we/they do.
- Every story needs 2 things - a teller and a listener.
When I teach - whether it's as a college professor or as a chaplain, I require my students to write their stories - the story of their first kiss, the story of their naming and name, the story of a moment their life changed, the story of a material object that's important to them, and then I ask them to tell their story, share their story with someone else. This connects us, builds community. And then the listener asks questions - not during the story, but after, to help the teller finish fleshing out their story.
I connected with Polly on Friday, June 13, 2003. We had met over e-mails for a few weeks prior to this. I walked into the Alumni House at Salisbury University, in Salisbury, Maryland, to begin my work as a folklorist, assisting in gathering the stories of Crisfield, Maryland, a maritime community on the Eastern Shores of the Chesapeake Bay. I looked around for a friendly face, a familiar face, and I found Polly's. She walked to me, with her hand outstretched. She shook my hand, put her left arm around me, and began introducing me to those in the room. . .
She lives on . . . someday I'll find the words to write my Polly story. For now, I'm holding the divine -