"We exist in a fabric of personal stories."

"Who will tell about it?"

These two lines are written in the preface to Spaulding Gray's Sex and Death to the Age 14. I read much Spaulding Gray in high school and college, watched most, if not all of his movies and even had the privilege of seeing him perform live - once in my hometown at the Summer Arts in the Park program and once at Lincoln Center. He is an amazing monologuist and performer and I have a great amount of respect for him and his work.

That made me pick up the book, but the two lines above were what made me take it home. There are two reasons I felt connected to these lines. The first is my career as a community artist. In working with youth and community I have realized how important it is for everyone to have a place to tell their own stories and have those stories be heard. Being able to define oneself and ones path in life is vital to being able to thrive in whatever one's circumstances are.

The second is that I have recently begun writing stories again. Somehow, even though I am writing fiction, I feel like they approach my truth and express something of my life that I have not found able to express through my other creative outlets. I am trying to find a place to publish some of these, if all else fails I will post them on this blog so that someone will read them.

Maybe, as I sit here and write, I realize I also have a third reason. I am seeing the way that people connect in daily life all the time. Maybe it is growing older, maybe it is being in Baltimore, maybe it is just being more aware than I used to be, but I am seeing connections between people. I am seeing relationships change and evolve, individuals transform and communities form and become stronger. Maybe I am just choosing to be a part of it in a different way than I used to. Something has changed though and it has to do with stories, how they are lived, recorded and remembered.

Who are the people in your own life that are connected to you through the fabric of your shared stories? Who is telling those stories? 

It is really nice to think about all the people in the world as part of the same fabric, but a fabric made of stories instead of cloth. It means that it is a fabric that is always growing, changing and flexible. It is a fabric that is inclusive of different opinions and points of view and is able to connect opposing sides to the same story. Now we just need to figure out a new way of telling this story with many authors.