Storyspace

I told Charlotte I would write a few words about the storyspace session this week. They usually happen when there’s a 5th Wednesday in the month. As I said in the notices on Sunday, it’s an opportunity for us to tell the group something about ourselves…it could be about…something going on in your life at the moment or from an earlier stage…or about something happening now in your community or in the world; something you care about. There is so much to talk about.

It works like this. We sit in a circle, one person acting as facilitator. One person talks for up to 10 mins and the rest listen. Come along just to listen, if you prefer. Tellers need an audience. Or you might want to bring along a favourite reading (a poem or extract..?) to share. And there are groundrules, like confidentiality. What says in the circle stays in the circle.

It was only when I read 12.21 in Quaker Faith & Practice (QF&P) that I realised this is like being part of a creative listening group – http://qfp.quaker.org.uk/chapter/12/ – speaking from experience, not commenting directly, leaving a pause inbetween, listening attentively, not getting into a discussion (these can always take place afterwards, doing the washing up, for example).

I hope you will be able to come along. MfW starts at 6.00-6.30pm, followed by soup, bread and leaves (I am very consistent – just hope they haven’t moved things around on the aisles!) and we begin at 7pm. It will probably end by 8.00 to 8.30pm, depending on the number of people present, who want to tell. The latest we have ended has been 9.00pm. Of course, friends do leave earlier if they have to for trains and buses.

Or you might want to consider starting or restarting such a group in your own Local Meeting (LM)? The idea came to me after reading Storycatcher by Christina Baldwin, a fantastic book. At the back, she describes how to go about setting up a group. Christina is an American Quaker. I wrote up some notes in – https://weafish.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/storycatcher-2/ . It’s about work but it applies elsewhere too.

I know how busy friends are at the present time with all sorts of stuff going on, so if you can’t make it, that’s fine. I just wanted to let you know it’s happening. And if you think you will come, it would be good to know in advance so I know how many leaves to buy…and bread and soup, of course).

In friendship

(please share with other friends, if you think they might be interested; I’m more than happy to share notes with anyone thinking of doing this)

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2 thoughts on “Storyspace

  1. We had a good session on Wednesday evening at Liverpool QMH. There were four of us present, two of whom came from Southport and beyond. After a good tea of bread and soup, we took our biscuits and fruit out on to the lovely greening terrace. There, where it felt like being in Southern France, we told our stories…about gatherings (and we wondered when the next Area Meeting one will take place and where?), about trust, music and companionship and waiting. We had some deep waiting.

    Charlotte said to me she thought I had explained it well and would have come along had she not been performing as a fairy in the Spectrum of Spirituality event the following evening. So, when the next 5th Wednesday comes around, 29 October, I won’t have to repeat myself again as I’ve put it on my blog for safekeeping and sharing. And here it is.

    It was a lovely time on Wednesday. Thanks for sharing.

    We are our stories.

  2. Lisa writes…
    Focus on Storyspace:
    Every 5th Wednesday of the month (the next one is 29th July) we hold Storyspace
    an opportunity for tellers and listeners to gather and share a simple meal – maybe to entertain. Stories are fundamental to our history and culture and there is an intimacy in the circle. We’re encouraged to engage in creative listening – we bring our senses to the fore – and try to still our judgement and we hear so much more. There were five of us at the last session – two very different stories were told – but with echoes of compassion, exploration and openness in each. We heard about the importance of story sharing in the NHS to build a culture of compassion. We knew that stories were important but it is good to hear that importance recognised. We left feeling good at sharing something very simple and truthful.

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