Hi Everyone,

Thanks to all the people who made it to the show last Thursday. I never know what each month’s theme will will inspire but “Never in million years” brought out some very raw stories that surprised even me.

There were two tellers in particular who told stories so personal that I don’t want to share them out of context in an email. One was from a first-timer and the second was from one of our regulars. Everyone there that night could tell how hard it was for those two to get through their stories.

I wish I’d had a chance to find the first-timer after the show to thank him. I hope I see him again one day so I can say how much it meant to me that he chose us to share his story with. I hope it helped him to share what he experienced in the aftermath of a receiving a phone call about his 15-year-old son. I know how powerful it was to listen to.

Our second story was a very personal one about the ways life can surprise us, despite our best efforts to control it. The regular who told this story said to me afterward that three woman came up to her at the end of the night to thank her and let her know they had lived through the same thing. That means the world to me. If you ever hear a story at FGS that moves you I hope you walk up to the teller afterward and tell them that. Not only does it let the teller know they aren’t alone but it lets me know that what we’re doing at Roy Street is not only good but necessary.

The next time someone asks me why I ask that people focus on stories, rather than advocating for a political view or providing social commentary, this is the night I’m going to tell them about. Stories draw us in and help us feel someone else’s experience; beliefs sometimes get our defenses up and drive us apart.

And that’s as close as I’m ever going to get to sharing my own beliefs in these emails. What I want to do now is thank everyone who told that night: David, Chris, Devin, Elliot, Mark, Rebecca, Nigel, Carol, Kristi, John, Raul, Melanie, and Norm. Many of these folks were first-timers and I’m grateful they found the courage to get up there.

November’s show will be on the 16th which is a week early because of the holidays. The theme is “Anything for Love.” We haven’t done a show about love in a long time and now seems like a good time to do that. I’ll get the official invite out as soon as possible but mark the date on your calendar now in case it takes me a few days to get it out.

Forgive me if anything I’ve said here seems clunky. Some of your stories go pretty deep into me and it’s hard to put into words how much they affect me.

I hope to see you all on November 16th 🙂

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com

PS – If you told a story last week and want the audio send me an email. I’ll get you the mp3 as soon as I can.

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