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  • Writer's pictureKevin Cordi

We find stories in many places

The way we receive stories is amazing. I am listening to Anna Tivel's song "Dark Chandelier" and need to take pause to realize that so much of hard times can be captured and personalized in song. A haunting tale she sings so with intensity. It is evident as she closes her eyes to feel the impact. See her sing this below. It made me want to listen to the words more and remember...

At the same time, I am reading Lee Martin's book , a telling memoir. Flipping through the book Such a Life I read about hard times and the deep learning comes during these times. In a short essay called, "Twan't Much." (2012 University of Nebraska Press, p. 108) He chronicles a time when as a college student, he made cookies for a man who labored and received little income from his from his factory work. He was a family man struggling to help the family. Young Lee noticed this and gave him a plate of homemade cookies. He did not realize this cookie charity would be seen as insult or at least questioning the man's ability to provide.

The next day he did not question who left a box of Whitman chocolates on his front door, even though it was not signed. The story made me remember when we received the food donations at a time when my dad was in the hospital and the mixed appreciation and sorrow that happens when it occurs more than one.

I remember. I don't forget.

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And for some reason I am taken to a time when I was a college student and stumbled into a bar and the man sitting at the bar simply looked at me. It appears as though he and the bar were one. I went in to ask directions and he glared at me like he was judging a slab of beef. He said, "You don't know a dam thing about Vietnam, do you?"

I didn't but I will never forget the anger in his tone, the lines in his eyes, and the hurt in his tone. I said nothing, but I remember it to this day. It made me want to know more about this war he was obviously in and I did not have a clue about...


I am so thankful, I receive stories when I don't look for them. I find them when I am looking, they lead me to more. But like the cookies, I need to honor the teller by asking for the stories properly, taking care of honoring the maker and the teller. I need to ask for stories that I don't know and find out about conflicts I have not been in and Rise UP storytelling and singing after doing the work needed to make the words ring.

Where do you find your stories? Feel free to join in the community we share. We are listening.

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