Thursday, April 28, 2005

Story and Space

Last night at 2:00am I was called to the hospital again. This time I was with a large family--grown children, their spouses, and their children. It's interesting that different responses are elicted from me in different gatherings and situations. Early this morning, I felt myself being a spacemaker, a placeholder, a person whose arms, mind, and heart held open the space for the sacred stories to fill. I prayed a lot, breathed a lot, sat and listened a lot. I filled the space myself very little--speaking only when it felt helpful to hold up a mirror, create a practical path, call attention to a tender theme, or let the storyteller know he or she was being heard and received.

What is the space of story? I wonder how is it helped or hindered by the many voices contributing, breaking with emotion, smoothing with comfort, lifting with memory, spilling over with the slightest smiles into a future not anticipated but welcoming us, nonetheless.


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