Connie’s story

This is Connie. She’s never been onstage before but she somehow found to courage to get up and tell this story. It was a big step for her to talk about this in public and I’m proud of all the people who talked to her after the show and wrote her later on to say how much her story moved them.

This is her blog where she talks about what it meant to find a safe place to tell her story: https://natureofconscience.wordpress.com

At FGS the audience is as important as the storytellers. Without the love and patience you give each teller these stories would never come out.

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who came out to Roy Street last Thursday. Despite the heat we had a full house and even more storytellers than usual. I never know if I’ve chosen a theme that will resonate with anyone else and I’m always nervous that a hundred people will show up and no one will have a story to share. The story I wrote for the invitation to this month’s show was very personal and in the weeks before the show I wondered if I had crossed the line.

Well, it turned out that I had nothing to worry about. We had so many people wanting to tell stories that we couldn’t get to them all. For all the laughs we had that night there were two stories that really broke me open. Two first-timers each told stories that stopped me cold.

Connie told the story of growing up in fear of her father and how she confronted him 20 years later in a grocery story parking lot. I know what it’s like to be afraid when a parent comes home and it was good for me to hear that I wasn’t the only one who grew up that way. Listening to Connie’s story made me feel like I wasn’t crazy. That I wasn’t making it all up. Most importantly, it reminded me that I’m not alone. It feels good to know there are people out there who know what I’m talking about when I tell my own stories of being afraid to go home.

There was another woman who told a story that night that hit me just as powerfully but in another way. (I haven’t been able to get ahold of her yet so I don’t feel like I have permission to use her name.) She talked about the cost of burying your emotions. She’s a scientist and is more comfortable with data than feelings. It wasn’t until she used the scientific method on herself that she realized how her panic attacks were related to times when she ran from her feelings. Hearing her story was absolutely heartbreaking for me. It reminded me of all the people I love who have the same story. The story we heard Thursday night had a good ending. She developed ways to acknowledge her feelings and move through them. Her panic attacks are gone and she seems happy. I was touched by the courage it took to examine herself and then years later tell that story in public.

I’ve never seen these woman before and I don’t know how they found the show. They are both in their 20s and they are far stronger than I was at that age. It took me many more years before I had the courage to confront the things they already have.

That’s one of the things I love about this show. I never know who is going to show up or what they’re going to say but there’s always something I take home that I needed to hear that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

Big thank you to everyone who told a story that night: Tina, Barb, Anna, Bill, Connie, Cathy, Allison, Katy, Carol, Keith, and Tracey.

The recording came out fine so can give the storytellers a copy of their performance if they want it. I only give out the audio to the people who told a story and it’s only the audio of their own story. Most tellers don’t want their personal stories online so that’s why I only give copies to the people who told them.

I’ll be writing up the official invite for next month’s show in the next few days. The theme is Stories of Discovery.

See you on July 23rd!

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com

Ginger – Fish Out of Water – 5-28-2015

Ginger just gave me permission to post her story from last week. Ginger is one of those storytellers where you can see people close their laptops in the back of the cafe so they can listen to her.

If you’d like to see her reprise the first story she ever told at FGS you can catch her and four other FGS regulars this Sunday at the Jewelbox: http://www.seattlewordsnmusic.com/

Thank you

Thanks to everyone who came out to Roy Street last Thursday and supported all the storytellers. The theme was Fish Out Of Water but you guys made each storyteller feel welcome whether it was their first time onstage or their tenth. Sometimes people apologize to me for coming to the show but not having told a story yet. I always tell them that being a good audience member is just as important as telling a story. We can’t have a show without tellers but those tellers need to know they are welcome and appreciated and you guys always come through for them. Thank you.

Big thanks of course to everyone who told a story: Deborah, Keith, Moriah, Tina, David, Chris, Cathy, Norm, Lleyn, Zoe, Patrick, Sea and Ginger

Many of you asked me after the show if I would post the audio of Cathy’s story about moving from New York to Minnesota. Last night she gave me permission to share it so you can check it out on our Facebook page or blog. It was one of the funniest stories we’ve ever had at FGS and I’m really happy she let me share it with everyone who couldn’t be there in person.

I especially want to thank one of our regulars, Ginger who told a story so delicate and powerful that I’m still thinking about it three days later. It centered around a question someone asked her last year, “Who are you?” What struck me about her story wasn’t that she was finally able to answer that question. It was that I suddenly realized why all her stories go straight into my heart. Ginger’s stories could only be told by someone who knows who she is and is happy with that. Ginger showed me that for every moment I spend working on a story I need to spend another moment working on me. The more I know myself the more honest and revealing I can be onstage. And the more honest I am onstage the more courage I have to be honest with myself.

That’s your Zen storytelling koan for the month. Don’t ask me for answers. I just burned my lips on a cup of green tea that was supposed to help me meditate. Right when I think I got life figured out I end up sticking my nose in a cup of boiling water. The struggle continues.

The recording came out fine so can give the storytellers a copy of their performance if they want it. I only give out the audio to the people who told a story and it’s only the audio of their own story. Most tellers don’t want their personal stories online so that’s why I only give copies to the people who told them.

I’ll be writing up the official invite for next month’s show in the next few days. The theme is Exceeding Yourself – Stories of Personal Mountaintops.

Thanks again to everyone who shared a story, especially our first-timers, Tina, Patrick and Keith. I know how hard it is to get up there and you guys did yourselves proud.

See you on June 25th :)

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com

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