I love it when the Universe takes a hand and points me in a good direction.
Last week when I stopped by my local library I saw a notice for a
MEMOIR WRITING class that was starting soon. 4 Sessions. FREE.
5 minutes from my house at a good time. What's not to LOVE?
My storytelling is all memoir although not formally written down. I am working on new material. This class could open the door to some new insights. Again, what's not to LOVE?
Yesterday was the first class.
20 plus seniors, men and women, gathered in the basement meeting room of the library, surrounded by noise from an annoyingly loud air conditioner. Our instructor faced the group. He is a very tall and gangly elderly man with sharp blue twinkling eyes and a wide smile. He reminded me of Jim when he waved us to our seats with his inordinately long, thin arms. "Come in. Come in." Perched on the edge of the table he exuded the ease and confidence of experience. Later, someone asked him the direct question and he revealed his age - a biblical 91 years.
I had not known what to expect. I guess I thought there would be some didactic lists about what to do as you start to write your autobiography, your memoir. Wrong. Early on he told us that we would be on a
quest - - to know ourselves. One woman balked. "I did not come here for self-help."
The teacher was not phased. "Madam, how can you write a memoir if you do not know who you are?
or what your purpose is?"
I settled more comfortably on the hard molded plastic chair, if such a comfort is possible. The feeling that he would be a trustworthy guide for these four sessions flowed over me.
What better place for me, standing as I do on the edge of finding out who I am or will be in a new world, than on a quest.
Our teacher used exercises and prompts that are familiar to folks like me who take or teach storytelling workshops. But they seemed to me to have a different flavor. When we paired up to talk about prompts like our first memory or the first home we could remember they felt fresh. I wondered if if was because we were all the same general age or if it was because we were not there to "achieve" something for the outside world but had something we wanted for ourselves or to share with a more private circle.
He assured the group that once you started on this quest and then began the writing that it would take hold of you and change your life. I believe that to be true because more than twenty years ago it happened for me when I encountered storytelling for the first time. But I heard him opening another door - not just the finding and telling of our stories but the finding of ourselves, who we are and how we came to be ourselves.
The homework? To write a confidential mission statement - what is our purpose in life?
Yes, I think I am in the right place.
And I have no doubt the Angels brought me here.
Posted by ELLOUISESTORY