Sunday, May 04, 2008
Creative Storytelling with the Elderly I
Alison and I ran our first creative storytelling session this weekend with a group of elderly women at a care home in Hove, Brighton. The session was so inspiring and fun to run and we learned so much in the process! We used a group storytelling workshop methodology from Timeslips, an organisation based in the US. The elderly women themselves created their own story through the use of an image of a car stuck high up in between two trees, which one of them chose having been presented a choice of three different images on a card. Alison and I facilitated by asking open-ended questions, listening and writing down all responses and weaving them together by repeating the story as it grew. Here is the story that Olive, Peggy, Rita, Gladys (104 years old!), Hazel and Betty created - we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did facilitating it and getting to know these lovely ladies:
The car is between two trees. It sounds like it could be my husband up that tree. It's somewhere in Henfield, Sussex. It's a miracle how that car got to be on that tree. It fell off a mountain and the wind blew it into the trees. It could have been coming from the Downs. A special truck must have put it there. You'd need a crane, a special truck, a rope and a breakdown lorry to get the car down from that tree. Or you could just give the tree a good shake. Or you could even just chop the tree down. But that's very unkind for the tree.
The person inside the car is called Helen. I think that's sex discrimination. She's frightened and decidely sick. She's got her wind up and is very scared. She's a bit nervous. If it was me, I'd feel pretty clever. If she jumped out of the car, her clothes will make balloons and she could float down. If she was on Chanctonbury Hill, it would be a good place to jump down from like a parachute. The trees would break the fall.
She jumps down into the valley and onto a lane with trees. She has a heart attack, which doesn't bring this story down to earth, does it? She can fly to the heavens and change into a star and say hello. Helen just sat there, pulled herself together and got over the shock of everything that had happened. I think people in the car would go bananas and go mad. Helen phoned for help on her mobile phone and a handsome policeman rescued her. And then she passed out. What a waste.