Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life Stories Class Seven

The students in the class grow closer with every session.  The last group of stories today and next week we start work on editing, rewriting and rehearsing the stories....We have the bones...the foundation...onward to adding the layers of definition, detail and wonder!

The Memory Chair (cont’d)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This is week seven of Life Stories class and we have now gone beyond the apex of the scheduled plan.

The chairs remain in the close circle of last week’s arrangement, and as Wrenn opens the class with our ‘coming alive,’ maneuvers, we respond with familiarity. We quickly follow her lead when she makes a transition and takes us into another activity—well, perhaps not all that quickly! For instance, we were told to call out a number, being we were fourteen count (with Wrenn), and one was supposed to speak a number spontaneously, but never two people in unison; it was supposed to be, 1, 2, 3, etc. It took us some time to count impromptu; and in sequence without the sound of that second voice riding the same number. An exercise in preciseness, hearing…and paying attention!

We usually sing a song and I try to sit by Ted whenever possible; I enjoy his masterful melodic tones resounding in my ears.

Story time came next, and like last week, we read them fully and out loud again; most writing pieces centered on grown children, grandchildren, and close relatives. Christine ‘talked’ her story, and all eyes were on her, following her soft voice as she went about her narration. Ted chose to read his assignment; the message was on the accountability in living one’s life. There was much discussion between the stories, a spoken word or a phrase that opened the flood gates on our thoughts….

Lynnsy was the final participant; she sang her anecdote: You Gotta Have Heart! A winner—we all have a lotta’ heart!

The next topic consisted of handouts of a summary of all stories turned in for six weeks; we had to designate the genre of each story. From this, the assignment for next week is to choose three stories from our six weekly assignments that show improvisational possibilities.

Time to act-up is just ahead!

Lynnsy had one final surprise; she raised her left sleeve to reveal none other than a kaleidoscope of color, an abstract tattoo in a Picasso styling that dazzled the eyes. The painting ran from her wrist all the way up to her shoulder. I had told Sandy earlier that when I looked over at Lynnsy, I had to smile…she struck me as having a whimsical soul—the tattoo was a nice fit!

Elizabeth Towles (Willie)

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