“Memory is a kind/of accomplishment” William Carlos Williams wrote, stapling the ideal from the beginning of any knowing of any one or circumstance, to the reality of how things actually translate years in, with the accumulation of perspective, daily life, hopes, expectations, and mistakes. Only then does a more nuanced truth emerge. Memory implies not turning away from, but rather facing the past, rearticulating what remains of experience and even ourselves. And it’s hard work, perhaps the hardest we do in our lives, as we continually recontextualize family, childhood, relationships, mistakes–indeed our stories–to stitch lines of reconciliation between the past, present and future. This plays out on an individual stage of self, as well as in the global realm of war and peace.

Storytelling is by definition a retelling of memory, a sharing of questions and answers from considered thought. We chose the digital storytelling platform to share some of our conversations and thinking about healing and reconciliation because of its malleability and outreach scope, its combination of visual and verbal aesthetic, and its capacity by combining mediums of photography, painting, video, music, and speaking to relay glimpses of experience and research expressively.

By no means do we have answers to any of these wide-ranging and abstracted human conditions. But somehow for our group, when we sat in a room together for a few days and just shared our impressions, and our experiences working in peacebuilding and cognitive research and spiritual practice, the call and response of inhabiting the conversation widened the understanding. We all felt it, even if it was difficult to articulate specifically and concretely how or what shifted inside each of us, or became more tangible. 

And so we each set out to capture some of our thoughts in the pieces presented on this site, to share with ourselves and with others, and to act as an invitation into the conversation. The intersection of compassion, creativity, and spirituality–especially relative to reconciliation and healing–is where we each began. It is a continuing discussion, quietly and internally, as well as manifesting in more pieces you will see posted on this site. Thank you for being here, for listening, for sharing. 

–Kirsten Rian



Posted on September 7, 2015 .