Stories without words?

dancersI tell stories with words.

Words are the thing I moosh and goosh and smoosh around as potters smoosh clay…the things I shape and eventually–oh! I love that part–polish and smooth.

Words make us feel things.

Think things.

Words bubble in our blood and brains.

When I was in Seattle last weekend speaking at the Ethiopian Community Center about Open Hearts Big Dreams and Ethiopia Reads (www.ethiopiareads.org) I watched these dancers and thought about the ways we tell stories without words.

I thought that again when I got home and watched this book trailer about a book by a fellow VCMFA faculty member.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJeuXJqO-Lg&feature=youtu.be

young artistAnd as I got ready for the second Seattle event, an auction and dinner, with art donated by Stephanie Schlatter who creates opportunities for kids in Ethiopia to put color to paper for the first time.

In some ways, Stephanie is lucky.

When we work on book opportunities around the world, we have to think about what language the story is written in.   Someone may be able to look at the cover of one of my Lanie books and know it’s about a girl and plants and bugs and butterflies…but to feel much of anything, that person has to be able to decode black squiggles on a white page.

Or maybe a screen.

And unless those squiggles make a sound in that person’s brain…a sound that makes sense…even decoding is no good.

Reading starts in a deep down place where kids get a chance to notice shapes on paper and get to feel a jolt of communication even with someone who doesn’t speak the same language.

http://www.stephanieschlatterart.com/  Look at Stephanie’s page and see if that jolt doesn’t happen for you.

Seattle dancersHere’s hoping for lives full of telling

and dancing

and miming

and reading

and painting

and potting

and sharing

the stories of our special spots on this earth.

 

And here’s to teams in Seattle and Grand Rapids and Grand Forks and other places that are volunteering so much time to spread the ripples.

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