It was a fortuitous encounter with Courtney Tune, I truly cannot recall how we crossed paths. I believe I was given Courtney's contact as a recommendation asking for networking opportunities as a sole trader. Now I am fortunate to be one of the entrepreneurs involved in a Government funded program to receive monthly mentoring and direction for my business and goals!
Living in a small town, to find time to just sit and write and let thoughts pour in, away from your comforts and distractions of home, you can find yourself chatting with people who pass by to say hello and share their story. Whether you're at a cafe, or the local library, there is always someone.
Have you ever met a stranger who opens themselves up to you, tells you their name, or asks of yours? There is always a story in a name. What if you had five to ten minutes of their time? What could you discover?
I have embarked on a 12 week journey I had never thought would lead me feeling, or being who I am today. We are at week nine. The circles are called Story Gyms, eloquently crafted by Lee Rickwood from Story Fruits; a colleague and dear fellow storyteller gem in my life.
12 of us are crafting our story for Mental Health Month in October. We will showcase our stories to an audience in Coffs Harbour. We are journeying through the shadows of how we currently live with mental health challenges, where we come in and out of our past memories, which take hold of us in our daily lives.
Myself and the recreation activities officer have been speaking with one another for months to hold a story-sharing circle for the elderly. A space created through tale by the residents themselves. For the first circle, I thought I would set a theme, hoping it be would enjoyed. Themed - the story of your name.
The eve of the Bellingen Poetry Slam brought a full house to the Memorial Hall. The whole town came down to listen to local poets express their current state of being. The night had its first Autumn chill in the air. Us poets shivering from the cold, or nerves, difficult to tell, yet, enthusiastic as we stood ready to register our names at the ticket booth, at the advised time. 17 of us went through to the round. The stage was ours for the evening.