Memory and Story


What we remember about the past is so closely linked to the stories that we tell. What others will know about us, about how we lived the days that were ours, depends on those stories and the questions that they answer. Was life filled with grief and illness? Did pain overtake us? How did we manage when faced with our own call?

Our stories are personal and they are communal. Just as my actions today have an impact on those with whom I work, my own scripting of the events of my day and the nature in which I chose to describe these events also has an impact on the body of creation within which I live. In other words, what memories am I creating with the stories that I tell? What questions was I faced with today and to whom did I turn for guidance and counsel? When I was criticized, when I was praised, when I noticed the need of another – and when I tell that story, am I telling from Love or from self?

Your story-telling, and mine, can weave living and family and work and hope and worry and yielding and triumph all the while as it carries the possibility of the transformative moment. Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~ Mary Oliver, from “The Summer Day”, New and Selected Poems, Beacon Press, Boston, MA 1992

On View: Morning by Ruth Tietien Councell.

As Seen In: Comfort and Joy, Painting by Ruth Tietien Councell. January 6 – February 1, 2008. Trenton Cathedral, Trenton New Jersey.

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