One of my absolute favorite parts of our Storycatchers Live events is the art that is sometimes created in response to the stories and moments shared. We had such a wonderful time 'Flirting with Disaster' this past Saturday night and we are so appreciative of Katie Chicquette Adams for sharing this poem that was inspired by the stories and strangers that became something more, if only for one night.
Fear of Falling
The room is full.
There is tension,
it’s written on their faces,
heard in their fumbling
with the microphone.
They are nervous,
what if this is painful?
What if these people think I’m crazy?
What if I fumble with these words
or choke or shake or cry?
Because these stories are plank-walks
of embarrassment, of pain,
of foolishness and epiphany--
within these depths
are the beauty of fragile love;
the swift-moving current of flirtation;
the swirling eddy of raucous rebellion;
the whimsy of misguided biking;
the tentacles of addiction’s kraken;
the pressure mounting under the garment industry’s
efforts at youth restoration;
the lurking shapes of rape’s shadow.
They wonder if this room and all these people
are so much invisible water
creeping up past their shoulders
until they are in over their heads.
there is warmth,
it smooths their avid faces--
a room full of gently eager strangers
who started filling these tight-packed chairs
almost an hour in advance,
who stood along the walls undeterred
when every chair was full.
They are ready, they are hopeful--
they need a dozen voices
which speak to them,
to their questions,
to their struggles,
to their need to laugh and reconnect
and eye-open and breathe in
Don’t worry, tellers--
you won’t drown;
they’ll breathe for you both.
You won’t falter or fall.
These open ears and hearts--
they’ll catch you.
Thank you to all of our tellers and everyone who caught every story.