Writing for the Health of It: Week Two

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Week 2 Assignment:

‘Bring to the class, a bag holding 3 artifacts/objects that symbolize who you are and what is important to you. Write about each object and why you chose it. When we get together, share your story and your bag of contents

I chose to bring in 3 items representing my religion, family and pursuit of being a life long learner.

As we gathered around the instructor told use that after someone shared, we were to comment on:

Writing Style

Structure of Writing

The items

Message and meaning in the writing and the objects

I won’t write about exactly what each person shared and why. One because it is their story to tell and two we have a policy that what is said is kept in the room. The ‘Vegas Rule’ (my term for it) what happens in there, stays in there. However, I will give you the overall learning from others stories and the messages I took away about writing styles and sharing.

The first writer prefixed the concept the most concisely; ‘I realized that it wasn’t the objects themselves that were valuable but rather the memories and stories behind them’. How true. It makes me think of the question, ‘If there was a fire what would you save?’

The sharing from most of us was like a tree. Started with an object, the seed, and branched into stories of treasured memories, people, places and the effect they had/have on the person.

The group consist of writers, editors, teacher, history buffs, people who have never written before. A mix of people yet each of us were nervous to share our stories because they weren’t just ‘stories’ they were personal reflections of something that held meaning and value to use.

A sample of some of the items: a lockets with baby pictures, a passport, family pictures, a book, a bracelet, religious items, a handmade bowl from travels and more.

Each on its own was just an object, but the stories behind them had the reader brought to tears and the listener realizing how personal stories can become universal in the way that you can connect to the emotion and vulnerability expressed.

Most talked of a struggle they experienced and how the people in their lives helped them in their journey. A simple passport became one woman’s personal story of travelling to a new country on her own. A bracelet became a new bond and relationship forged between Mother and Daughter. A locket reconnected a Mother’s love with her husband and grown children.

All the stories told had the similarity of triumph over uncertainty, how they chose to reflect upon a stressful, scary, uncertain time and look at it with acceptance, love and gratitude instead of bitterness and regret.

Amazing how a simple assignment given to people of different backgrounds, experiences, race, gender and culture could unite us all through the shared vulnerability and courage of life weaved in a story about an object.

Writing about something that holds meaning to you and being brave enough to share your story can touch more people and inspire others in more ways than you can imagine.

Great lessons learned today in class from others and about myself.

What would your three objects be? Why are they important to you? Would like to hear your stories and learn from you, as we can all learn from each other, no matter where we are in our lives we can be connected through our experiences.

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