Day 302 Stoop Storytelling

October 7, 2015

(If we live with an open and grateful attitude, every day will bring a gift. This is one of 365 gifts during the year I turned 70.)

Baltimore's Stoop Storytelling continued tonight at the refurbished Senator Theater. Laura Wexler and Jessica Henkin created this series which is in its 10th season.

I remember summer nights growing up in a row house at 3410 Lyndale Avenue in Baltimore. In pre-air conditioning days, people did not often sit inside and watch one of the three available television stations. Even with hovering hungry mosquitoes, it was always more comfortable to sit outside on the porch or visit neighbors on their stoops. People up and down the block talked with one another about the weather, the other neighbors, the news. They also told stories about things that they experienced yesterday or twenty years ago.

These shared stories were part of the community. They connected people with one another and elicited empathy. Although times have changed, stories are still important to both individuals and entire cultures because we must confront the past in order to live in the present and move forward to the future. They are a connecting part of our continuum.

Tonight I attended another Stoop Storytelling show, this time held at the newly renovated Senator Theater in Baltimore. I have been attending this series ever since it began at the Creative Alliance and then moved to Center Stage. At these events, seven featured people and three audience members tell stories—seven minutes and three minutes respectively. Both David and I have several times stood on the stage to tell our stories. It is empowering to share a story with others because it gives birth to the story’s soul which then passes and enters into the experience of the listeners. Tonight we laughed and cried with the storytellers who shared their experiences based on the theme of beginnings and endings.

When technology pulls us indoors and inside our own virtual worlds as it does today, the enrichment of storytelling becomes endangered, but Stoop has helped continue this tradition of sharing by adapting. And it works because every time I attend, I walk away feeling fuller.

My gift today is shared stories.

> Beginning the Day

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