Life is like a tapestry; the things you do and the people you meet are woven into the design. It seems so random that I would end up in Oaxaca for a second time. First time was in 2012. I had met Illinois storyteller Jim May when he came to Honolulu for a Storytelling conference organized by Jeff Gere. I got on his mailing list, went to a weekend retreat when NEA (teachers union) was in Chicago. There, I learned about the retreat he does in Oaxaca, and went there the following spring. I loved it and made some good friends. I met Jewel Murphy back then who was staying at the Casa and told me about her Art Tours.. I wrote about that in my previous blog entry. So Jim’s workshop was during Holy Week, a 2-week interim between the art and storytelling workshop. And I had been wanting to learn Spanish, so things fell into place. Art-Spanish-Spanish-Storytelling. That was my month.
Jim’s style of storytelling is a mix of fun and games (he works a lot with kids) and serious personal stuff. But you choose how deep you want to go and how much of your personal story you are ready to tell. My group was ready! They opened their hearts and souls and I am humbled and fed by the stories they told.
I haven't quite processed what I experienced during this retreat. I made some good friends, really nice people with interesting life stories. My project for the week was to share a story from my Okinawan roots. Since then, I have developed it more as a play. It is now a draft. There was something about this week that was deep. I was touched, somehow, by the storytelling, by the people, by the collective energy of the group. It was a good week.
I have traveled quite a bit, and am using this page to record some memories. Travel is a wonderful education, expanding your view of the world, of other cultures, of the beauty of diversity.