“When I reread my notebooks it never fails to remind me that I have a life, that I felt and thought and saw. It is very reaffirming…That’s the great value of art—making the ordinary extraordinary. We awaken ourselves to the life we are living.” - Natalie Goldberg
A Great Gift
Every time I sit down with a Family Heirloom Arts client and begin our first oral history interview session together, it is as if a whole new world is opening up to each of us. For me, I am bearing witness to their life story for the first time, for them, they are having the chance to bear witness to themselves. They are giving themselves and their families a great gift, the gift of allowing their story to be told.
Once their words start to flow, we travel together — as companions through their life — recognizing how the shadows have informed the light, what they have sacrificed, and how they have grown. In my role as a “story collector” I am continually amazed, and always humbled. Whether it is the tale of being newlyweds during the war years, fleeing Nebraska during the dust bowl, or immigrating in search of the American Dream, these stories are stories of dedication and survival. These stories are tributes to the power of the human spirit.
Get Started Telling Your Own Story
At Family Heirloom Arts when we help our clients tell their stories, we aim to help them not only record the facts of their life along with their memories, but we focus on helping them distill meaning from their life through a guided process of self-reflection and discovery. Our comprehensive set of services provides support each step of the way.
Here are a few questions to get you started telling your own story:
- Write down a story of one of the most pivotal experiences you have gone through in the course of your life, which you feel would be important to share with future generations.
- In what ways do you feel like this experience changed you?
- What do you think future generations can learn from this experience?