On this day 55 years ago, 7-year-old Roger Woodward, who was wearing a life jacket, survived a 162-foot plunge over Niagara Falls after a boating accident. Woodward, who later developed a love of boating, became a certified diver, even joined the Navy, became the first person to go over the Falls by accident and live. He had one peaceful moment during the chaotic, scary incident… (1960)
While he was going over the brink of the Falls, he said he felt like he was “floating in a cloud. I had no sensation of up or down.” Newspapers called it a “miracle” that he survived the rocky bottom of Horseshoe Falls. It may have been a “water cone” that broke his fall, a phenomenon of water and air bouncing back up from the rocks. The retired white collar worker, who now lives in Alabama suffered only a slight concussion, scrapes and bruises. His first word when rescued in Ontario by the tour boat at the bottom was reportedly, “Gosh”.
— Good News Network
More info: http://www.infoniagara.com/history/rogerwoodward_miracle.aspx
“Every Human Life Is Worth The Same”
Today I shared the article below in my SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) writing class. It briefly examines one’s man’s attempt to address the homeless situation.
Take a look and see what you think. Read the article here: http://www.dailygood.org/story/851/hairstylist-for-the-homeless-kindness-blog/
Read a related post about a personal experience of mine here: Touch
I just finished Erin Morgenstern’s incredibly fascinating novel The Night Circus–the kind of book where you ache a little when the experience is over and where you actually miss the characters and the world the author drew you into. The Night Circus tells the tale of an enchanted circus, Le Cirque des Rêves, which becomes the contest venue for a pair of to-the-death dueling magicians, Celia and Marco. (Okay, so maybe you have to suspend disbelief a bit.)
At the end of the read, character Widget is asked by “the man in the grey suit” to state his purpose in life.
“I tell stories.”
“You tell stories?” the man asks, the piquing of his interest almost palpable.
“Stories, tales, bardic chronicles,” Widget says. “Whatever you care to call them…It’s not that important.”
“It is important,” the man in the grey suit interrupts. “Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and very ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift…There are many kinds of magic, after all.”
I love grey man’s answer–and wholeheartedly agree with his assessment of storytelling’s potential and power. I wrote my dissertation on the quirky topic of fiction as a way of knowing, as an alternative method for “conducting” qualitative research. So, yes, tales can not only take us into other worlds, but they can also change us, make us more empathetic, more understanding of “other.”
I love stories! Always have. True or fiction, it doesn’t matter. There’s something about “Once upon a time …” that is just SO excitingly inviting. I have learned that stories, that fiction even, can teach us so much about living fuller, happier lives. My great success with using in writing classes the wonderful Kathryn Stockett novel The Help once again proved to me how a great story can transport the reader/listener into another realm–in this case, racist Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1960’s where a group of black maids learned how significant their never-before-heard voices really were.
I love it that Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church here in Savannah embraces a full range of artistic expression, including storytelling. The video below features talented raconteur Dottie Kluttz telling The Story of Two Pots.
Here I am with Dottie back in May at Savor the Flavor of Savannah–a local food tasting event benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association of Coastal Georgia and hosted by Deborah Hargroves of Dancing Stars of Georgia.
“I believe in me. I love me. All is well … and so it is.”