Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The better we will want to live them

Oh Henri, you're making my day!

One of the arguments we often use for not writing is this: "I have nothing original to say. Whatever I might say, someone else has already said it, and better than I will ever be able to." This, however, is not a good argument for not writing. Each human person is unique and original, and nobody has lived what we have lived. Furthermore, what we have lived, we have lived not just for ourselves but for others as well. Writing can be a very creative and invigorating way to make our lives available to ourselves and to others.

We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them.

Henri Nouwen

We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. Love that line.

I received an email yesterday from my friend McNair. McNair is one of THE most amazing people I have ever had the joy of meeting. He is wicked flea market shopper, an inspiration and a former Disney Imagineer who tells the greatest stories and encourages everyone to do the same.

A few years ago I was able to tell my story in such a unique way. McNair was able to participate by being the first person I knew to see that story being told.

I was asked to participate in a documentary called 1000 Journals - the director, Andrea Kreuzhage contacted me to ask me to tell my story about my interaction with the 1000 Journals project. It was not a positive experience for me, I brushed her aside, but she was dogged in her determination to include all of the types of stories, not just the ones that were sunshine and roses.

Andrea & I developed a friendship and she showed herself to be trustworthy and true and safe enough to share my story with. About 3 years ago she came to Beaver County to spend the day with me, her HD video equipment and Ralph Kaechele, her ever talented cinematographer. We spent the day talking, walking, eating and filming and I was able to share with her some of my story.

McNair was able to see the film at the San Fransico Film Festival last weekend and share with me his impressions. I am so honored.

First, and foremost, I honor you for the power, clarity, and courage with which you shared your Journal story in Andrea's remarkable film. You are a major part of this exquisite work. No one has more (or as much) time on camera. Plus it connects with other stories (as so much of the film weaves a tale of connections and relationships AROUND THE WORLD.)

I did not know any of what you shared in the film that had happened as a result of your being a part of the 1000 Journals project. I was VERY moved as I watched and listened to your story unfold and break the hearts of most if not all in the full theatre yesterday.

How great to have Andrea and "SOMEGUY" (Brian Singer) there for Q&A. many were curious about you and how you're doing. IT was a great lesson (and will be for ALL who will see) as to the power of art–even when dashed off casually in a small sketchbook that floats through our lives for a while.

So great to finally meet Andrea after emailing and Facebooking. We exchange bus. cards and I hope to get together with her when she is back in SF this week for the rest of her screenings. Don't know if she'll have time to "cut her away from the herd" for a sip or a bite, we'll see.

She is a talented film maker/story teller and has crafted a piece that not only tells the story of the project in a way that anyone, having never even heard of 1000 Journals, would get it–right away. But far more than that is a film about connections across continents and cultures. It is life-filled as people write (in so many languages) draw, paint, sketch, tape, glue, construct, fold, share, pass-on, mail, or just leave it on a bench, or mountain trail – to be discovered and entered into.

The mind reals thinking about how many thousands of people have touched, read, peeked, and contributed to the (first) 1000 Journals.

My friend Susan ("SARK") Kennedy gave a copy of the book about the books. It was actually the book that Brian Singer (SOMEGUY) sent her to thank her for "Keeping creativity alive." SO, even though he'd already signed it, I asked him to sign it again (see photo). He also had a few of the actual journals there for folks to contribute to. I noticed one book, lying on the table in front of a woman and I asked, "Aren't you going to join in?"

"I'm just a mom." She said pointing to two high school age girls hunched over two books opposite us.

"These books are filled with just moms." I said and pushed a small pile of arts supplies toward her.

She smiled and jumped in...

I am so honored to be a part of this project and I am so looking forward to seeing it. If you do see it please let me know - all of our stories deserve to be told. I can't wait to hear yours!


wilsonian said...

Now how freaking cool are you?!
So proud of you!

Kel said...

how exciting to be part of such a big collaborative art project

wish i could see it

David said...

I love McNair. Awesome man.