Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
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photo credit to Lucy Chian
June 26, 2022
I was sitting on my back patio this morning, soaking in the effects of
our overnight soaking. New Mexico is part of the American Southwest,
and contrary to opinions of those who are not familiar with this part
of the country, we do experience a rainy season. This is vital to our
desert life. Animals, fauna and humans all depend on the moisture the
“Monsoon Season” brings.
It is amazing to see how the colors are suddenly more vibrant. The air
is fresher. Although I love the heat here and even the drier climate
that makes the summers more bearable without the oppressive humidity of
other warmer climates, it is very refreshing to get some rain.
If you live where rain is plentiful you may wish for dry and sunny
days. The weather does affect our outlook, or so I believe.
And it adds to memories. I have one vivid recollection living in
Oklahoma during my college days and sitting on a front porch watching a
veritable river of rain roll down the street.
It is important to me to not take for granted nature’s
blessings. Blissful moments when I can watch hummingbirds flutter about
the backyard flowering bushes or watch cloud formations make a painting
of cosmic proportions across the sky are gifts of creation.
Of course there are also violent times when storms rock us and the
destructive forces of nature remind us just how small we are in the
Season in the Southwest lasts from mid-June to September.
It’s not as famous as the tropical monsoons in Asia, but
similar weather patterns create the conditions. This year in particular
we welcome our rain as New Mexico has been ravaged by some severe
forest fires and the dangers are still very much with us this year.
The spirituality of my morning revelry today on the patio will stay
with me. It is because I recognize it, experience it, and record it in
my journal. Now it is part of my life story and while it may seem
relatively insignificant I know that’s not the case. Little
moments like that are very much a part of my life journey. They keep me
centered and in the now.
June 20, 2022
Reunions are a time to come together and celebrate your past and your
Family reunions are important, especially when there needs to be
healing. As we all are aware, family relations can often be messy. But
the beauty of forgiveness and repaired relationships cannot be
School reunions are another type of get together that can be both real
and surreal. High school years have often been important times in our
lives. However, they also can be awkward and challenging. We were all
trying to figure out who we were or were hoping to become. Anyone who
has lived a while discovers that it is a lifetime journey. But seeing
those we knew in those high school years often brings up memories that
we may or may not want to revisit. I’ve been to a couple of
high school reunions, but none recently. In a couple of years it will
be 50 years since I graduated and it could be worthwhile to make that
This past weekend I got together with a bunch of former friends from a
pivotal time in my life. We all worked at a rock radio station in the
1980s. I hadn’t seen some of those people in nearly forty
Others I have stayed in contact with off and on. The time warp of our
gathering was fun. We talked about the glory days and toasted those who
were no longer with us. I have found the reminiscing has continued
after we said our goodbyes and “until the next
Looking back at our experiences, especially the formative ones, is part
of the journey. The goal is to learn from our past and continue to
evolve so that we can have a full and valuable life. It is important to
never forget that the other people in our lives are part of that
journey. Yes, sometimes they drive us mad, or we might have
resentments. That can be turned from a problem into an opportunity. We
learn to forgive, to extend grace, and to recognize our own
A life story includes reflection. Cherish the ability to recognize your
path because we only understand our journey through our experiences. It
can often take a lot of time to appreciate it. I continue to find both
joy and value in writing about my life and I certainly learn from the
stories of others.
and Stripes Today
June 14, 2022
is Flag Day 2022. I bought a new American flag yesterday because the
one I’ve had for years is tattered and worn. The new one is
currently waving in the wind in front of my house.
Like Rod Serling on the “Twilight Zone”, I submit
approval the Stars and Stripes of today. I consider myself a patriot,
but not one that turns a blind eye to injustice or corruption. The
ideals of the United States Constitution are idealistic and I
like what they say. But I long for the day when it will be universally
applied to all our residents.
It’s been rough politically the past few years. Democracy can
difficult to uphold, especially when there is power and money
involved. But let’s face it, that’s a
dilemma for any
of us. As long as we are divided into camps then we will always be
threatened by some “other”. I am not saying we
shouldn’t defend ourselves from enemies. But don’t
what has been said by some wise folk (even wise-cracking cartoonists),
“We’ve met the enemy and he is us.”
Yes, sometimes we are our own worst enemy.
And sometimes we are our best cheerleader.
So I am waving the Stars and Stripes today because I still believe in
championing freedom and righteousness. That’s for everyone,
select few at the expense of others.
Patients Get Story Medicine
June 6, 2022
Preserving life stories is an important endeavor. The urgency increases
when it is someone nearing the end of life.
Hospice patients are finding it very beneficial to get their story
heard and saved. Thanks to hospice nurse Dottie Kluttz who sat with
many people at their end of life, hearing their stories and encouraging
them to ask questions about themselves, a growing effort has been
happening where more and more people are getting the opportunity to
tell their story.
This “story keeping” is helping people prepare for
they reflect on their life and even work through unresolved things.
Additionally, it preserves their memories and wisdom which is so very
important for anyone. Kluttz states, “I believe the person
who is the storyteller, wants his story told, wants to be remembered
for more than one generation.” (Read the post on Nieman Storyboard)
This is not the first time I have seen reports of the health benefits
of preserving and sharing your life story. But it is particularly
significant for those close to the end of their life. It’s
incredible work that people like Dottie Kluttz and others are doing.
The past couple of years with the Covid pandemic has brought more
attention to the need.
The emerging research is showing that certain chemicals are released in
the brain as people tell and listen to life stories. But Kluttz is
doing it because of the benefits she has seen over and over.
know there are a lot of people studying this,” she said.
“But I don’t care about the science of it. I care
magic of it.”