Saturday, March 3, 2012

Soon again

Soon again, I will have words to express myself here. They are coming, slowly. Yet I feel them bubbling up to the surface of my mind, almost ready to be shared. I am understanding the logic, too, more fully; of my personal reasoning, albeit reluctantly, dredged up from my unconscious, that has been underlying my inability to speak of late through this blog. My resistance surprised me when first I noticed it in mid-December.

Prior to that time (July – December), I believed I was eagerly joining in and contributing something meaningful to the talk of the day; something that might make a difference, even a sliver of one. I really wanted to do that! Then I got stuck.
Abkhazian Elder, Murat Yagan, showed many of us
that "Wherever two or more are gathered,"
informal conversations can become
healing medicine for systemic change.

Speaking and writing began to feel as if I were throwing words at people and them doing the same back at me. All around me began to feel like one big, noisy crowd; everyone that was talking blaring out as many words as they could at anyone else who would listen.

After my few forays into it (July – December), I felt as if I was, part and parcel, of a faceless, reactionary mass; opinions everywhere about politicians, scandals and the rest of the “what not” that passes for day-to-day news.  What point was there in joining the near-ceaseless rhetoric, threatening to pack cyberspace on a daily basis? What value offering up more words, as if more could make a difference, and create change by the end of a given work day? Why bother? It was all so predictable. Soon it simply became a bore; news that was not really about life in motion. Rather, better stated, merely a commotion.

Simultaneously, I was discovering the joy of doing interviews for the Possible Human, Possible Society Study. Initially, I anticipated the study as merely being a data gathering project. It was, nonetheless, intended that the study would, at least, identify a few meaningful conclusions regarding current social change and allow New Horizons to offer whatever it could to needed remedies.

Soon, however, the real deal surfaced; study interviews were inviting storytelling, mostly that of the interviewees, yet with ample room for some stories of my own. What a mitzvah (Yiddish for blessing)! Many of the central interview questions revolved around the same essential topics as the “noise;” current national affairs. But through stories I was being told and hearing much more; the deep, heartfelt significance beyond mere constituent complaints. I was becoming privy to stories that reflected the heart and soul of the well-thought out hopes and dreams of study participants.

What a magnificent surprise! Endeavoring to gather certain data via the study, (too complex to explicate here), I had found a portal to enter the realm of “awe” with study participants, perhaps only briefly, but awe no less. A chronicle was in the making through our study of contemporary American social change in certain select areas of concern. Wow!

Storytelling is one of the most vibrant of human life-affirming means for connecting with others. Here I am, “Anastasia The Storyteller,” learning anew the power of storytelling. Wow, again! I am so grateful that our Possible Human, Possible Society Study is giving this treasure to me and others (along with its data collecting). Now I am, also, eagerly looking forward to our coming event, the Abkhazian Dinner, March 25, that will invite out more of the same; storytelling, from me, from my co-presenter, Mayor Deborah Burgoyne of Burkittsville, Maryland, study participants and our local community. All in the service of building community-unity.

(Yes, Burkittsville, Maryland is the home of the "Blair Witch Project." Has that anything at all to do with community-unity building, 2012? Most likely not, still there’s a good story for you.)

Storytelling! Storytelling! Through storytelling I believe, I am beginning to find new ways to share words with others that can bypass the dumb stuff (for me). I don’t like it at all when words (mine or anyone else’s) just add more noise and make little or no difference at all.

Since I am just learning and so much is unfolding, rapidly, day-by-day, I invite you to become a reader of the other blog that I write so you can be informed of what’s happening there, even if I cannot say much here. These two blog sites actually are companions, if you have not yet figured that out. "Anastasia The Storyteller" offers stories that are the behind-the-scenes stuff of New Horizons. "New Horizons/Small “Zones of Peace” is generally about what’s happening out front.

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