We all have stories to tell. While some of the tales we spin are about other folks, perhaps the most intimate sagas we know concern ourselves. Many times they are also the most poignant.
In my professional role as a healer, I maintain that, although we are all broken in some way, we do have the capacity to experience substantial healing — both by telling our story and by listening to the stories of others.
In this instance I use the word healing in the Old English sense of the word: becoming whole in body, mind and spirit.
In the words of professional storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy: “Some of our stories are told from the stage. Some are told in a small group, perhaps over a glass of wine in the evening. Some are told to one intimate friend, just once. And some we can only whisper to the Stygian darkness in the middle of the night.”
At the recent caregivers’ seminar at the Mason Hill retreat center in Cheshire, Massachusetts, those that made formal presentations as well as those in attendance all had a story to tell.
When I spoke to the group of caregivers, standing on crutches, it all came together: brokenness, healing; broken bones and casts; an abstract painting of a piece of cloth intricately folded and the line from Naomi Nye’s poem Kindness about following the thread of sorrow until you can see the size of the cloth; hope for healing through service to others.
I like to think that everyone came away enriched in some way. I know I did.