I belong to a woman’s group called Woman Zone and we have initiated a story telling evening at a gallery in Cape Town. Every ‘First Thursday’ of the month the city galleries and restaurants open until late, encouraging residents and tourists to explore the heritage and culture of our beautiful City.
The central city teems with people ( loads of youngsters which is really cool) and at Mogalakwena we have launched these story sharing sessions. We started at the beginning of the year and now people come to listen, to share or simply ‘be’ while enjoying the art and craft of the gallery.
This last Thursday we had Jennifer tell her story of why she started making dolls (not your ordinary type of doll!) followed by Nicole, a young refugee from the DRC who had compiled a book from other refugee’s stories, then Vera who entertained us with a song and story and inspired with her quirky attitude….finally a long-time friend and associate, Margi, told us about how she started Streetsmart – a charity helping homeless children.
This got me to thinking about the power of stories and how, when you are older, they define the person you have become. We have so many to share and laugh over; so many that are a life lesson, record your history, mark the joy and the sadness and your life journey.
One of the many privileges of being ‘mature’ (I have a friend who simply will not allow me to use the word ‘old’; he says I am mature and that ‘old’ is a putdown – he has a point!) is the bank of history you have built with friends, family, experiences and so on. And how lovely it is to draw on this when illustrating a conversation. (without repetition and running the risk of becoming a bore or labelled demented!! )
Our lives can be likened to a tree or a tapestry – take the one you prefer. But each grows…whether it be a multitude of colourful threads that twist and turn, warp and weft, hang loose , break ocasionally, are taken up in a skein, knotted or sewn into a fine pattern or the delicate branching of a tree; each have roots in the design of a life.
So I thought I could entertain with some of my stories of where I come from, who has influenced me to who I am today as part of the privilege of growing into maturity (there – I’m learning) and underlining why in our heads we never grow older and it is only the outer shell that changes.
So when you look at someone who may be 30, 40, 50 or more years older than you – move beyond the outer shell and look inside – there are so many stories just bursting to get out and mostly the age we see ourselves is simply not the age we look!
So like Maria in the “Sound of Music’ sang; ‘ Let’s start at the very beginning…a very good place to start!.
(Assuming everyone has ADD I won’t write much more than a page at a time! )