Monday, October 29, 2007

Storytelling for Elderhostel

There is nothing so rewarding as faces listening with rapt attention, voices that laugh at the right times, heads that nod knowingly, and eyes that shine with memories and delight.

That's what it was like tonight at the Elderhostel at Cedar Lakes in Ripley. It was fun to see Gloria again, the activities coordinator--I'd met her years ago, when our sons were young. Now our sons have children.

Telling stories is magic. A connection develops between teller and listener that feels like a long-time friendship, as if we've known each other for years. The stories bring back memories of the past, of people and places and things that happened that might not have been thought about for a long time. Yet those memories are clear as crystal when a story triggers them.

Tonight a man told me a story about being selfish with his brother and stepping on a nail because of it. His mother poured turpentine on the nail hole and chastised him for being selfish! It was my story about turpentine that brought that memory back, and the man's eyes were alight with the memory of his past mischief.

Connections, connections. One lady knew a storyteller friend of mine and needed contact information, which I could give her. A man had made a lovely stained glass kaleidoscope for my boss when she retired. Passing each other on the street, we could not have known the connections we shared. But after sharing a storytelling session, conversation flows warmly and there is a place where we can find our way to each other.

It was a good, good evening.

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