I am a storyteller who has been with the Dancing Heart Program for over 5 years.  I am constantly on the look-out for family stories, personal stories, legacy moments, metaphors, poems expressed by the elders we work with.  I am realizing that you have to stay on your toes, put on your magical cap, let go of linear narrative to hear the wise whispers.  So here is a delicious example of story last week at one of our Dancing Heart Sites.

We are playing with the play The Wizard of Oz and Maria our Artistic Director came up with a brilliant story prompt spoken from the cowardly Lion–If I Only Had the Nerve.  So we asked participants if you only had the nerve what would you have done in your life?

Julia tells this story: I would roll this old wheel chair to the greyhound bus station at 11 am to catch the  bus bound for Chicago.  I would be the first one on the bus.  I would first head to my brother’s house and we would have kentucky fried chicken.  I would then head onto the new building at Grant Park.  I love listening to music there.  I would volunteer my service, I would raise my hand and then read my favorite poem about Trees.  (Julia then recites the Tree poem for the group)

Lois then adds that if she had the “nerve” she would be a “Pocket Maker”.  We also smiled and instantly checked our own pockets marveling at the idea that yes, someone does make pockets.

Kairos is bringing elders back into the circle of community.  Magic happens when we dance, hold hands, share remnants of our life.  We our weaving our hearts out!

Carla Vogel

Dancing Heart Teaching Artist

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