Monday, May 31, 2010

On Duality of 'The Gift'

On the first day of the digital storytelling course, I offered that a story is a gift. Like all gifts given from a place of sincerity, both the giver and receiver benefit. In effect, both share these roles. I find this a good metaphor for my experiences in the We Media: Digital Stories of Race, Class and Gender course. I have learned that I am both a product and producer of media. Both a student and a teacher. Someone who travels a path at once intimate and public. I have experienced a new medium to express, explore, and connect. The act of creating a digital story is an attempt to move closer to answer, "Who Am I?" But perhaps one of the most powerful things about digital storytelling is that it moves us simultaneously to answer the question, "Who are we?" I believe anyone who has had the opportunity to be part of a digital storytelling group experience has seen the power of the digital story to transform the individual and the community. For me, this has had many manifestations, from the personal growth of learning to conquer my technophobia, to the opportunity to interview my husband and see him from a new perspective. My story is one of process as much as of results. From the sharing of the story in the story circle, to the showing of the digital story in community, the connection shared with others was one of the things I will take with me that I had not expected. It was a truly remarkable moment for me when I saw and heard that my story was understood, or that in some way some piece spoke to them. It was equally rewarding when I watched the stories of my classmates. I felt I had been trusted with something special, something important. Their stories were my stories also. I thank Joe Lambert, Dr. Rachel Raimist, and my classmates, who I am convinced each hold creative genius. Thank you for the helping to "fill the well" as my mother was always fond of saying.

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