'Growth happens when we take our story and bring it to the world. We invite others to savour our experience, to laugh or to cry with us. This way, we allow the world to become elements of our stories.'
We all grow up hearing stories. But it seems that we often forget that we embody them as well. We are living stories.
I flow through life. My body is an endless vessel that incessantly gathers narratives. They are all entangled, chaotic, vibrant. Sometimes, these narratives come with high doses of pain, of confusion, of aloneness. Other times, they bring joy, deep satisfaction and tears. And I am - and all of us are - in the possession of a tool to cultivate growth - our own mindset.
And growth happens when we take our story and bring it to the world. We invite others to savour our experience, to laugh or to cry with us. This way, we allow the world to become elements of our stories.
In the middle of March I came across a storytelling open stage in Utrecht. I became enthusiastic and scared too. I told many stories before in a rather informal manner. What would it mean to perform on an open stage? My curiosity and appetite to tell my story grew bigger and bigger. There was no doubt! I will be there!
The story that I shared then revolved around an event that happened 80 years ago, in the family of my great-grandfather. It was a story that encapsulated care, love, motherhood, uncertainty, war and death. About a strong woman, my great-great-granmother, who took care of her children and household, whose husband was in the war.
A few people got the opportunity to perform at Vertel! Storytelling festival on 13th of May in Utrecht. Prior to the festival we gathered a few times, eight aspiring storytellers, together with the two experts, Raymond den Boestert and Marliz van Til who offered us guidance on how to tell a story.
During these meetings I decided to bring another story to the world, one about the village I lived in until the age of 19. It is a funny story that transports the listener to a place abundant in rituals, superstitions, and ancestral wisdom possessed particularly by the women of the village.
People traveled with me to a period when I was 10, to times of encountering curious neighbours and to times of using natural treatments to cure. People laughed. And people also cried as they went back themselves to a time they experienced the same.
I feel so honoured to have been part of this group of talented people!
Thank you, Vertelacademie en Verhalenhuis Utrecht for making this possible!