So many stories of where we’ve been

Since October I’ve been fortunate to host storytelling events here in Bremerton. Over five months we did three at the Manette Saloon and since March, thanks to a partnership with the Friends of the Kitsap Regional Library Sylvan Way Branch, we’ve been going monthly at the Cloverleaf Sports Bar and Grill. At the bottom of this post I’ve left a few samples of what we’ve heard at the most recent two.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 6.48.21 PMOn Thursday, in addition to hearing great stories around the theme, “The Great Outdoors,” the library will hand out something to prepare you for a special Story Night in October.

Each year the library hosts a monthlong event in October called “One Community, One Book.” The library’s program is designed to get the entire community reading a single book together.

This year’s book is “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving,” by Bainbridge Island author Jonathan Evison.  In October Story Night will center on the themes found in the book. Over the next couple of months I’ll get a discussion going on those themes over at the Story Night main page under the Events tab, and on the Story Night Facebook page, which you should go “like” right away.

To prepare you for the One Community One Book event, on Thursday the library will hand out one copy of Evison’s book per household at Story Night. The idea is once you read it, pass it along to someone else. It’s a chance for members of the community to bond over a single story. I’m glad we can do our part.

I’m a believer in our stories. I wanted to start Story Night in some part because I wanted to get better at live storytelling. I’m not sure that has happened for me personally, but what has happened is I have managed to get connected to a part of our community I might not have otherwise known. We understand each other better through our stories. We find ourselves more willing to shed our judgment through our stories. We empathize. We don’t always agree, but we see someone we might have discounted as an enemy as a teacher. We relate in ways we didn’t know we could.

And we have fun.

Thursday’s event begins at 7 p.m. Most Story Nights are on the first Thursday of the month, but September’s will be on Sept. 2, the first Wednesday. Even our best storytellers have to cede the room to the Seahawks for a preseason game. The theme that night will be “Offended.”

Want a taste? The first story below was told at our June event by Alison Loris. The theme that night was “Advice,” and Alison told us a story about the advice she received from her former husband Jesse Bernstein, a Seattle poet and performer.

The second recording features two stories on the “Summer or temp jobs” theme from July. Scott Park explains the story behind why he wears long sleeves at work even on the hottest of days. Rosi Farley details the grueling work of laughing for pay.

 

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