Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hummus & Wine

Over hummus & wine I got to nourish my body and share the quintessential story of my life.  And I realized – anew - that whenever anyone of us shares our story, it is instantly altered by its receipt.  

We enter this world bellowing our stories naturally and effortlessly. As toddlers encountering the miracle of speech, we instinctively assimilate and bestow our experience – seamlessly -- upon the entire universe and all within proximity.

Yet as part of our socialization, we are taught what is acceptable and indoctrination that morphs into our relationships. In all but the rarest circumstances, we learn how to moderate, filter and withhold the chronicle of our beliefs and our passions.  Sometimes this goes too far and we lose our voice, growing to fear the real, raw context of our lives, because we consider the passages to be final. We forget that we get to create and rewrite our story every day, every week, every hour- in the narrative of our time on this earth.

In the service of community, without life stories, we are reduced to sharing the rhetoric of theory, programs and outcomes. For those of us in this important work, our honest inquiry and interaction is the binding which connects our singular chapters into a novel that supports collective experiences and aspirations. Chapters of collective connection. Collective understanding. Collective action. Collective response. Collective celebration. Chapters made stronger by time and wear.

When we share our individual tales, we simultaneously get to edit the next chapter -- by moving forward, rolling back or flipping the script!  Through others' stories, the context for our personal story is enriched: our hunches can be transformed into ideas and our ideas grown into visions; our halves can become whole and our darkness light.

Just like hummus and wine--coffee & a doughnut…beer & pretzels…tea & cookies--we complement one another when we swap tales. For it's through our words that we communicate, but through our stories that we connect.  

What's your story?