Once upon a time there was a girl living through the Cuban Missile Crisis who was afraid that everything she loved was about to be blown away by nuclear war. For 13 days the world hung in a stand-off of power mongering etween the United States and the Soviet Union. She didn’t know what to do, so she took her diary, and the diary of Anne Frank that had inspired her to write, and other totems of modern life in 1962 and buried it all in a box in the woods.
And then the political crisis got over. Life went on. She dug up the box. She kept writing. She went to college. She stood against the war in Vietnam. She went to Europe and came home and started freelance journalism, and wrote a book (One to One) that started the journal writing movement in the US. She began to lecture and teach about the importance of self-knowledge, and how writing one’s life story could lead to understanding the importance of collective story. She wrote another book (Life’s Companion) about how journal writing could also open the realms of spiritual seeking. Still she had not told anyone about those days that shaped her, when she hid the opening pages of her life-story in the woods.
Finally, in the new century she told her new story fully, and wrote Storycatcher, Making Sense of our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story, her legacy work on all her gathered understanding of story. After decades of writing, and decades of interacting with tens of thousands of people, she was sure that story could heal the past. And so she began to raise the question: “If we can use story to reshape our past, to turn trauma into triumph, then can we use story to shape the future, to turn disaster into possibility?” She is still living that question, and it is that inquiry that brings her to rest on the New Stories board.
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