I have always been an avid reader. Kudos to my mother for beginning what would be a lifelong journey of delving into the lives of others. I can remember the joyful feeling of trips to the Vankleek Hill library, of being allowed to freely choose a few books and the unending fascination I had as a young child with Mrs. Boucher, the librarian, who got the distinct pleasure of pulling out the library card and stamping each book, reminding us of its timely return (oh, how I envied her!)
My Aunt Sue also reinforced my love of reading; a teacher by trade, she would prepare a box of books for each my sister and I, and we would eagerly anticipate opening the box every time we traveled to visit my mother’s family in Worcester, MA. As distance predicted lengthy spans of time between visits, the books grew in number, waiting patiently to be opened and appreciated.
It is my love of reading, my inclination to story, that has guided and formed my appreciation of the narrative of people’s lives, but it is my experience of being a therapist that has deepened my respect for a person’s story. Someone comes in and trusts me with their beginning, weaving their experiences, their joys and their wounds into an account that can only be theirs and yet is filled with universal elements. As a result, I feel privileged in the process; understanding that perhaps that the beauty of story; no matter how distant it might be from our own, touches an element of familiarity that binds us together in a subtle, yet connective way. This knowledge gives us permission, in a way, to be open to our own narrative, to give space to the story that is perhaps patiently waiting to be opened and appreciated.
Photo credit to: http://Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash