On Sunday hubs and I drove to San Jose for the opening reception of “Forming Our Lives”, a 3-woman exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. My contribution to this show is five pieces from my Tall Girl Series: A Body of Work which best conveyed the gist of my story.
A while ago I felt I was through showing this work. It had served its purpose in allowing me to grieve my lost body parts, the barbarism and the ongoing effects on my mobility and stamina. For me, the story simply became it is what it is, something I live with daily but rarely talk about anymore. The healing aspect of this work is complete for me. And yet opportunities continue to present themselves to showcase my story. This left me torn between trotting out old news vs. making an impact through storytelling. Now I realize the former has led to the latter.
Every one of us has a story which is what the Tall Girl Series continues to remind me. By outing my story I am encouraging others ‘permission’ to tell theirs.
At Sunday’s reception two of those seeking permission appeared. The first was a lovely woman who asked me several questions about why I decided to tell this story and also mentioning my courage in doing so. Through telling my story I’ve learned that those who mention my courage also have it themselves. The courageous recognize it in others! When I told her that I continue to show this work to encourage others to tell their own story, her eyes welled up. And I knew in that very moment I had given her permission to tell hers.
Then there was a petite Asian man who read the statements, examined the work, walked over and said…”people always ask me where I am from?” And there it was again…a seeker. Some one who got it! Everyone does have something, everyone has a story. And yet so few allow themselves to feel it, to experience it, to well up over it.
The Tall Girl Series…the gift that keeps on giving!
Jenny K. Lyon says
Beautiful post Carol. Sometimes it’s not about you- in a good way! I hope this series continues to do its work.