This confluence of forces
that finds us face to face
at this exact time
and precise place.
- Excerpt from Shehechiyanu by Ziy von B
On Wednesday, we gathered again at Sadleir House – 35 nervously excited storytellers and listeners of all ages coming together to record and recount tales of social change. Though some of our eyes were weary from the early hour, we poured ourselves generous mugs of coffee (thanks Food Not Bombs!) and sat, again, in a circle. Over a startlingly short 3 hours, we shared in so much together: Elder Shirley Williams’ centred us with opening blessings. Mehrangiz Monsef warmed up our bodies and minds with a communication stretching activity. 12 of us shared different but connected stories of social change, while others listened, recorded, photographed, and reflected. Ziysah von Bieberstein raised important questions about the imbalance of having some but not all share their stories and compelled us all to sit with this imbalance. Rosemary Ganley sparked further questions about how we might sustain the feelings and energy that surround this kind of sharing, what possibilities and limitations it might have. After Ziy shared some of their poetry and we each were given a piece of the best chocolate in the world to take home, we left with many different feelings and questions, with hopefulness and uncertainty, and with a deep and overwhelming sense of gratitude for all that we were able to share together and some of the ways we were able to “hold each other up.” Over the next month, students will be toiling away to craft the many recordings and photographs we gathered this week into videos that might, hopefully, capture a small piece of what we experienced together so that we might share it with others.