Stories, myths, legends: What Makes Us Human

We, humans, and, indeed, all of life, are interdependent – strands in a great web. We cannot achieve independence until we recognize our true Selves, the connected Self, as opposed to the little screaming, fear-driven, drama-loving little self, the ego.

Our stories, myths, legends and shared expressions connect us, remind us of connections and expand awareness of connection. We struggle to think of effective ways to turn not only to our friends, but those who distrust and dislike us, to recognize ourselves in everyone. Through our sharing and stories, through listening, we can connect, in spite of differences. We must, in order to grow more life on this planet.

We are our stories. Every language carries a collection of stories–a culture–a unique perspective. Storytelling’s power to connect people also teaches us about ourselves. We must work toward an inclusive society by bringing together stories from many languages, cultures, and through different senses and media. Our work is sharing and making new stories out of every person’s story, to complete our own story and ourselves.

Yes, and good story telling is not rushed. Good stories take time, not only in the making, but in the telling. Pauses are music in storytelling. Then there’s that “we” word. Rushing around is not a good state to be in, to be with people, to listen and learn new stories. Today let us practice avoiding that modern disease of dizzybizzy – moving too quickly and trying too hard to do too much. Recovery, reviving and re-creation involves slowing down, even stopping. If we pause and breathe, we invite more connection and life.

Today I am beginning a new life. Everyday we are given a new life. We can live more fully than yesterday, more connected, more ourselves with and through others, when we break from an old habit, an old thought, when we become independent of our conditioning and past. It is possible not to overeat, get drunk, ignore a friend or family member or zone out with a mouth-watering fantasy. Today, I will remind myself to be present, look people in the eye and listen, be conscious of my eating, drinking, talking, seeing, and this day will be richer each time I remember not to be a slave to immediate gratification. Today, I hope to enjoy a more independent me, free to grow more life.

If you would like to grow more life through more stories, scroll to previous posts for stories I could share with you. And, enjoy this day.

August, Auspicious, Augural – Mid-year Reflection

Summer is on the march, and the sun is moving further south each day.  After intense work preparing for Without Words, the very end of July and beginning of August felt like a needed nap.  I’m not sure what just happened, but I seem to have awakened to the 9th of August.

This week, with eyes wide open, I will be taking inventory, reflecting on the first half of 2015, before moving forward.

Thank you-all who helped launch Without Words.  It was a great success, and will continue somewhere, somehow.  First, I will back-up to get a better view and a running start for the next jump.

Stay tuned for the next adventure life brings.  In the mean time, may you-all see augural signs for a bright or, at least, interesting time ahead.

When I emerge, again, hopefully, I will have news or musings to share.

Take time to take care.

For slowing down, before charging ahead,


Communicate, Connect and Enjoy with or without words

In/Visible Theatre’s Without Words, a production based on A Man Without Words is happening, in Boone, North Carolina – everyone is here and working. We and the theater’s potential can change attitudes, opinions, provoke feelings, thoughts, and transform. People in the audience and on the stage will engage in that transformation, soon.

“If you can get to Boone (July 24/25), check out for tickets.

Interested in giving a gift to help with expenses for our great cast, crew, costumes, and other production costs?

Scroll down and click that “button” to the left.  Donate to Signs of Life’s fiscal sponsor, Trillium, a 501c3.  All gifts, until July 22nd, will support Without Words.  Thank you. (if you would like to give all the gift to Without Words, send me a check to save the PayPal;s fee: write check to Trillium and send to Susan Schaller, 200 Pilgrims Way #2, Boone, N.C. 28607 – good only from now to July 30).

Or, see:

And/or  write me, if you would like to see a clip of the show on DVD (not yet made – give us a chance to rehearse, first : )  ).  Read more below.

Human Connection with a blog and “Without Words”, the play

In/Visible Theatre’s Without Words has been more than an idea for a while, but now this production based on A Man Without Words is becoming more concrete daily, with people beginning to show up, in Boone, North Carolina, including me.  I’ve been wondering about the theater’s potential to change attitudes, opinions, and to provoke feelings, thoughts, and, hopefully, new behavior. It seems so much greater than a book or film.  Why is that?  My answer to that question has already been stated: “…people showing up.”

Theater’s power is engagement.  Not only do people show up to engage for weeks beforehand, exploring new ways to communicate, others show up for the performances to continue the exploration and the engagement.  This process is dynamic, changing with each member’s participation on or off stage, trying out bits of life with old, new and changing avenues to use all our senses, feelings, thoughts and dreams.

It pulls us back to a time when we first appeared on the stage of the world, and all we could do was watch, then learn how to feel, listen, make faces, walk, mimic, and laugh or cry at others’ faces.  We learned how to move our hands, bodies, tongues and lips to add to our facial expressions; our most powerful tools were tantrums, feet stomping or jumping in the air to show our glee.  We are all acting.  We just forget that most of the time, until Shakespeare and others remind us.  Those reminders, often at the theater, enliven us, touching that foundation of connection of our first years of life.

Without Words, hopefully, will do more than point to connecting, and BE transforming.  The story of two people meeting and changing each other, and their lives, is a part of Without Words; and, about the power of connection, the hows and whats of connection.  It is possible to watch a film or read a book, quite alone, observing “them.”  A great film or book may pull you in, but too many allow you to stay on the outside.  Without Words, if it does its magic, will pull us all in, to learn from each other, to engage in the dance that is “we.”  My wish is that we will all be transformed by seeing that there is no “them.”

Join us and we will celebrate being we.  See, above, for how to connect.