26 December 2007

What did you get for Christmas?

I received the book/CD set of "Listening is an act of love: A Celebration of American Life" from the StoryCorps Project. I'm excited to get started reading it, as soon as I can find the time.

I already knew of this work but here are some online summaries for you, in case you're not sure what I'm talking about:

Since 2003, the StoryCorps project has recorded 15000 personal conversations between family members and friends."

Dave Isay founded StoryCorps, which has recorded the voices of over 29000 people recounting stories. "Listening Is an Act of Love" tells some of those..."

I started a similar project with my own mother, Lynne Harris, an Air Force spouse for twenty years who lived on three continents in over 20 homes and is a huge inspiration for my Air Force spouse-centric comic strip, Jenny.

Lynne is now is her 70s, has her Doctorate, and travels to
Kuwait on whims. When she suffered a mild stroke a few years ago, I realized it was time to record her story before it was 'too late'.

Even though I currently live in
Okinawa, Japan, I've been calling Mom every Sunday evening for the last year, letting her unravel her memories of life as a military spouse from the mid-1950s through the 1970s, recording every word. Once we've exhausted that subject, she wants to talk about her life growing up in rural northwest Arkansas with four siblings, going to a one-room schoolhouse, how she reacted to the feminist movement, and so on. This project will be gold to our family one day.

Needless to say, "Listening" is right up my alley. If you're interested in other people's stories, this experience is for you.

As Dave Isay says, "I'm inspired by real life. When you talk to the people who are serving you coffee at the local luncheonette or the people who shine your shoes, those are the stories that matter. They are so much more interesting than the stories that we're inundated with all the time."

~ jewls

1 comment:

Navy Wife Wendy said...

Hey girl (I wandered over from the myspace post) what a great idea! I love hearing stories from family. :)

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!