For the last six years, I’ve been part of a storytelling coaching group led by the compassionate teacher and gifted storyteller Michael Williams. During this period, we’ve met four or five times a year, always in my flat. I enjoy the ritual of preparing for the group, cleaning and tidying, making space for guests. Hosting a workshop, making my living space part of community space, makes me feel at home like nothing else does. A home is more than a container with four walls, it’s also a building that connects you with the people and other organisms you live with: a node in a network. I always bake a gluten-free treat as part of getting ready, hospitality needs to be more than a space for people to enter.
Yesterday, Piper and I took a bag of used clothing to the local grocery store and dropped them into the Oxfam bin, thus freeing up some space in my wardrobe. Thursday, I gave the gift of time to a friend who is prepping for a job interview and then spent the evening making up with Piper, who was upset at being left home alone for longer than he’d like.
I don’t think I’m actually doing anything differently from what I was doing before, but by consciously paying attention to my actions and storying them as acts of giving, I am starting very slowly to relate differently to who I am, to what I do and to the world around me.