08 May 2009

New Projects



I'm going to make this spidery tank, but with an extra repeat on the lace pattern, so I can wear it to the beach. Which beach that is remains to be seen.

Yesterday, I interviewed an artist for a profile I'm writing on him. He's about 86 and it was a many-layered conversation. It left me feeling deeply happy but also deeply sad. Happy because it's always good to speak with amazing people and have a little time with their thoughts and experiences. Plus, I love good stories, and story-telling is what he does. But also I felt sad because I don't feel that I necessarily have access to amazing minds as often as I would like. How often do you get to speak to people where ideas and experience are interwoven in such a way that you feel that you have transcended both, that form and content come together in such a way that they have created something new?

It's a bit hard to explain (haven't totally absorbed/synthesised all the information), but basically, he says that "now" is the most important time but that you also have to see "now" as the bridge between present and future, and the way to make that bridge strong is through telling stories. Of course, as an anthropologist, I eat this stuff up. What is anthropology but the study of story-telling, after all, and is there anything more human than to tell stories? Not that there aren't other aspects of our lives that aren't equally human, but I think that it is one universal that unites us, whatever form it takes.

In short, he says live life and share it by telling it.

8 comments:

Kathy said...

Your anthropological definement of the human experience is so simply and beautifully stated.
I am very intrigued by your interview subject. I hope you will share more of what you wrote of him in a future post.
When someone you've met makes an affirmative impact that stays with you, it's such a gift given, isn't it?

Siga said...

Hmmm... I wonder who's the guy you interviewed.

The tank is absolutely gorgeous - you'll be smashing in that one on the beach.

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Great advice! Good luck with your article.

theknittingcowgirl said...

I love your story...
I love to study American Native's culture and I think that, regarding telling stories, we are very similar to them. They tell stories from grandparents to children and in that way their religion and believing are not dead. It's wonderful. I love to ear from old people their experience and the facts they have seen when they were younger... Isn't it?

Hoxton said...

So true. What I love about my job is I spend my day reading stories, telling stories and trying to get stories out there for others to hear (along with a whole mind-numbing load of admin of course!) It's a powerful thing that connects us all. Hope to hear more about the article.

amanda said...

Jasmine you are so interesting. I would love to here a podcast from you. I think you would be a superb story teller.

lucy said...

what an impact a story or many stories can affect your life. love the motto to "live life and share it by telling it" - am inspired!

travelknitter said...

I love hearing about storytelling from an anthropological perspective. From a social worker view, we work with people every day, piecing together the threads of their own narratives, helping to (re)construct their life stories. People's narratives not only reflect, but also shape, their sense of self. I'm thinking about this at the moment in terms of unaccompanied asylum seeking young people...very interesting stuff.