MAKING MEANING THROUGH STORIES
AN INTERVIEW WITH PATSY PEARCE
About 7 years ago Patsy Pearce offered to lead a workshop for residents at Beulah Gardens, the first of many Storykeeping workshops since then. The stories that we have ‘kept’ for each other in the work shop experience have been rich, adding a deep dimension and value to new and old friendships. We have seen that everyone has a story of value and a lived experience that shines in the telling and/or writing. It has been a beautiful thing to watch how stories that some thought were ‘finished’, continue to live and grow, producing new recognition or remembered wisdom from the story.
I asked Patsy how her passion for storykeeping began.
Patsy, tell me about your interest in storykeeping. When did you begin to love a good story?
My father was a great storyteller, and I loved to hear the stories he had to tell me about his work his history, what he was thinking about, things that were important to him. He loved to tell stories, and I loved to listen to them! As I grew, I began to tell some of my stories too, stories which were not necessarily on the same path as his! Sometimes our stories led to passionate conversations about who we were and what we were on about. I loved all of this!
As my father was heading into his last years, it became important for me to gather together the threads of his story and experience. I wanted to know them, to remember them and to share them with the next generation. While I had always participated in and loved my father’s stories, I began to give them more value, to see how they had shaped my own story and understanding. Our stories together were a treasure that was larger than the two of us. I wanted to keep them, write them down and share them forward.
You have been doing Storykeeping workshops for about 7 years now. What have you noticed as you have facilitated these gatherings?
People want to tell their story. I think perhaps, it is because we have an intrinsic need to share our story and to see our story in the context of a bigger story. One story always sparks another, I think, because one person’s story – whether shared or listened too – becomes an experience that we share together and can be formed/transformed by.