Story as Wake-Up Call

Outside, the stars twinkled. Inside, the sanctuary was dark. In the back aisle near the church doors, we heard the quick striking of flint and steel and flame burst forth as the charcoal fire was lit.  Incense and smoke billowed. Words I’ve heard every Easter Vigil, were spoken, “On this most holy night, in which our Lord Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church invites her members, dispersed throughout the world, to gather in vigil and prayer.”  The large Pascal candle was lit, and soon the flame was shared from person to person until the whole sanctuary was aglow.

This was part of the big story, a central spiritual story of my faith tradition, held within the Episcopal liturgy. These sacred stories are shared over and over again until they work themselves into our bones.

Easter morning I slipped on the stairs and jammed my right knee, flaring up a forty-five year old injury from my short stint in a junior high school ballet class. Hobbling around on a day of resurrection seemed like a strange way to participate in the celebration, but it was the best I could muster.

Life is a weaving of stories. Mine. Yours. Sacred stories. Daily stories. From past to future, cosmic to global to intimate. From the mouths of strangers to enemies to beloved partners. Stories keep our edges supple and remind us who we are and whose we are.

I’ve been playing with technology and stories that emerged from my book, Big Topics at Midnight: A Texas Girl Wakes Up to Race, Class, Gender and Herself.  Today, on Easter Monday, I am announcing the addition of my first YouTube video on the home page of my website.  It is the first of five. The words are excerpted from an audio interview, with the images by book illustrator Khara Scott-Bey and a variety of photographs.

Enjoy. And continue to tell your stories.  Our future depends on it.

2 thoughts on “Story as Wake-Up Call

  1. Thanks. I love how these YouTubes have been such a community effort. David Strohm interviewed me. Erin Donley gave some ideas of the short cuts. Howard Thurston played the flute music. David did the editing. Rose Feerick put together the visuals using some of Khara Scott-Bey’s art from the book. So much is possible with community!
    And the second one is already up on the website too–under “Interview.” I’ll blog about it soon.

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