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October 2020

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Storytellers group has not be able to have in-person meetings; however, that has not stopped our very creative members from making new art!

This month we worked on the Strangers Project where participants expressed their artistic talent through introspective poems and paintings to tell a stranger something about themselves. We want to send a huge shoutout to our members for their hard work on this project and for sharing their talents.

These are some of the poems our participants chose to share:

JJ

What would I like a stranger to know about me?

I’ve had a very full life. I am grateful for being able to achieve this, which has kept me going during times of despair, such as these.
At the age of 19 I had a job and responsibilities beyond my years and experience. Being timid and foolish, I rarely asked questions, but rather learned by listening and watching. I was fortunate to satisfy my early desire for travel before I turned 30, my job had taken me to 6 continents. I was diagnosed with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 29.

I get frustrated when trying to complete a simple task, due to this “little inconvenience” I’ve lived with for 25 years. It slows me down but I’m grateful that I haven’t given up…yet. I’ve learned that when I’m forced to slow down to the point where I can only sit still and “be” in that moment. Often, the only thing that can get me through days overrun with frustration is yoga, meditation and gratitude for life path I’ve chosen, which introduced me to becoming a human “being”, after spending my former years as a human doing. This has helped me accept the fact that the many things I used to do oh, I can no longer do.

KH
Hello Stranger

A moment of self-reflection Karen L.Hollis
I am a woman still discovering myself. I say that because when life throws you for a loop or two survival is our greatest instinct. There are times I feel there are two of me. Coincidentally, I happen to be a twin, almost a mirror image of myself but also as different as night and day.
Often there is this small voice within who is not so confident. Many times afraid to speak up because of the little girl who grew up in foster care and too many tramas along life’s journey.
The small voice is not so confident and feels hesitant and overwhelmed trying to avoid negative consequences and conflict.
Then there’s the bold confident voice which never misses an opportunity to take advantage of a teachable moment along the way. I’d like this voice to show up more often, but these last few years have knocked the wind out my sails. This put me in my own personal quarantine, long before the rest of the world started theirs.

Instead of being on Life’s Roller Coaster, which has a definite destination. Most days I feel like I am on a carousel encapsulated in a snowglobe. On the carousel, with the same old music and the same starting point and destination, with the only change being my mode of transportation around and around up and down Within a repetitive circle . Some of life’s lessons have taught me many things, along life’s journey I’ve had to begin again and again and again.

I need my world to be larger than that carousel. I’m at a point in my life where now is the time to dare to dream and find my voice which was so instrumental in paying it forward by teaching, counseling and helping others in many capacities. Now, I feel like I need to feel present in the world. If not now then when?

NP

My inner self transcends my outer body,

Nestled in a core of gentle quietude.

Tangled round my nucleus,
My neural neutrons zing

A frantic orbit,

Side-swiping protons that

Balance my existence.

Constantly off-kilter,
The atom of my being
Is charged
In fluctuation
‘Tween
The self I want to be
And man I am.
ND

I am very friendly, happy, lovable, kind, helpful, compassionate, and a good listener. I am usually the one people come to when they need someone to talk to and I know I have people that are there for me like I am there for them. Even though sometimes I want to tell them to go away I do not because I know that this is the only way I can help.

Here are a couple of the paintings created this month by AR:

November 2019

Our lively group of storytellers and artists met on a cold but sunny day in November. The feature art project was a tree made with both water colors and acrylic paint. It was interesting to see that everyone was interested in making one. All were artists on this day.

It was also fun to see how everyone’s turned out so different. Unique to the artist’s interpretation of the one that Sonya made as a point of reference.

September 2019

Our Storytellers group met on a beautiful sunny day to finish our bird feeders, or write a poem or story. Since we met on 9/11 ( on the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the U.S.A.), some of us wanted to share our experiences on that awful day.

Stephen wrote a story about one of his friends who was living in New York City, and attending  Middle School, on 9/11/01. It was an especially traumatic day for him because his father drove a truck for UPS, and didn’t return home until many hours past his usual time. His father was unable to contact the family to let them know what was happening, and the family spent the time huddled together in the living room, trying to stay hopeful that he was safe. He finally came home at 2:00 in the morning, and explained that with the traffic flow into the city being shut down, he was unable to move his truck for many hours.

Kyle was feeling frustrated that day, and eloquently expressed his feelings in his writing. The group gave him encouragement that they had felt the same way at times, and to remain hopeful that the future would bring contentment.

Please enjoy the pictures that we took during our get together. As you can see, the bird feeders were beautifully painted.

August 2019

Our Storytellers suggested craft for August was this bird feeder made from craft sticks. Everyone chose to make one. Since we have to wait for the glue to dry, we’ll be painting them and adding the hanger in September. Here’s some pictures that we took of the happy group.

July 2019

Our featured craft for July was to make these colorful parrots out of cupcake papers and fuzz balls. As always, those particpants who preferred to express their creativity through writing a story, poem, or a different art project, were encouraged to do so.

Nick sketched a picture of an aircraft.

Steven wrote a wonderful story that made us all laugh. However, he chose not to share it on the blog at this time.

May 2019

May Storytellers participants were Michael, Mike, Kim and Steven. We painted landscapes with a combination of water and acrylic paints or wrote stories to share our thoughts. At the end, everyone shared what they created. Thanks to everyone for sharing your talents and for just being the wonderful people that you are.

February 2019

The wonderful person who founded our Storytellers group, Jessica Honig, came to visit, bringing with her a mindfulness exercise for the group to do together. It was an opportunity to share our feelings and innermost thoughts. We all learned a little more about each other.

Jessica has moved on, to be able to focus all of her energy on her counseling practice. We appreciated that Jessica took the time out of her busy schedule to spend with us. Thank you, Jessica, and please come again !

March 2019

Our art project was to make Leprechauns from paper rolls. Everyone made theirs a little differently. Three of our group participants collaborated to write a poem. Thank you, Derek, Mike and Kyle for your creative effort !

My wake-up call was a little lazy today, cause I had to wipe the sleep out of my eyes,

Bubba, the dog, woke me up by barking loudly.

I “shhh’d” him, but it didn’t work.

I had a cup of coffee and two donuts, and that was it.

I would say that I had a bar and a banana,

orange juice.

Cereal always tastes better soggy.

We all collaborate together,

The End !

December 2018

December 2018

Craig Rybinsky so graciously donated his time and the materials to show everyone how to make holiday centerpieces out of fresh greens. Everyone enjoyed the activity as you can tell by the smiling faces. 

Collaboration with the Turkey

I was searching for a turkey, and I came across a feather,

I chopped it into pieces,

and I put it down and kept walking.

Lucky that it didn’t start talking !

I took out my box call, I hope the turkey didn’t fall,

when he was running at me.

I hope he didn’t have no fleas, but I had to sneeze.

The wind, plus the acorns, plus the leaves, plus the breeze,

Covered my scent, smelled like the trees.

Thanksgiving at ease……

by Kyle Keech and Derrick Walden