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Stories

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My fourth grade teacher and I reconnected after 20 some years. As a fourth grader I'd been happy and alive. Not so as an adult— I felt boxed-in and very very sad.

Mrs. N and I got into a pattern of visiting every week. I could tell her anything. Sometimes we sat and said very little. At one point she said to me, "I'm not worried about you, B. You have such vast inner resources."

That was lifeline!
When I was a junior in high school, my parents divorced after 30 years. The next year, my mom had a heart attack and bypass surgery. Mrs. Jean Martin was one of my favorite English teachers. Throughout these tough family events and more, she checked in with me, listened to me, comforted me, gave me pep talks. She encouraged me to apply for a full scholarship at a local state school, which I was awarded. She held me to the highest standards, always! I saw her recently in her assisted living residence. She recognized me immediately. She said to me, "I love you and respect you." Nothing could mean more to me! She was "The One" for me!

Edna Brown
I had just moved to Washington, DC, completely new to the area, pregnant, with a toddler, and just beyond TIRED.

I opened up to a mom I'd met on the playground a couple weeks earlier to let her know I was stuck for childcare one day the following week due to a daycare closing, simply to vent. She absolutely INSISTED I drop my son off with her for a 5 hour play date the following day. She would not let it go....even though I barely knew her.

That act of seeing me in my hour of need and truly coming to the rescue solidified a friendship instantly that I now know I can call on in times of joy or sorrow... or indecision. She's one of my ONES, and certainly the first to make me feel like our new location was really HOME.

Jamie Levinthal
One of my mentors in musical improvisation, Amar Khalsa, had a profound influence on me. (We performed in many improvisational circles, primarily through InterPlay and WingIt! Performance Ensemble.)

At one point, I asked how he always came up with improvised music. He said very simply that he opened himself up to allow the divine inspiration to come through him. You cannot get much more connected to the muse than that. I think of this image of that divine flow many times during improvised performances.

Stan Stewart