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Storytellers abound

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Storytellers abound

by Barbara Meyer
17 Oct 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

Every community has a personality and Retreat, Steenberg, Lavender Hill and the Capricorn area are no exceptions.

This week, I spent meeting and reconnecting with so many people in the area, and every time I walked away from someone's home I thought, "Wow, that was such an amazing story I have just been told".

I spent the rest of the day retelling these stories to my family and my colleagues so as not to lose the essence of the story before I put it down into typed words.

Many stories made me laugh out loud when I thought about them later, and some made me feel very sad - not always because of the content of the story, but because of the passion and the intensity of the storytellers.

People from Retreat, Steenberg, Lavender Hill and the Capricorn tell great stories. And if I have missed out an area that should be included, then please do forgive me.

Every tale, irrespective if it were of warring neighbours throwing stones at each other, or of compassion between strangers helping each other in a time of need, or a gullible resident that had been taken advantage of by a skelm or a meeting that dissolved into chaos because everyone had to be heard, there was distinct sense of, "My story needs to be told!"

I have done my fair share of roving in my life, and a skill one does tend to learn with a certain degree of accuracy is the reading of personalities. Or rather observing people until they start shedding the layers of their various personalities that they have built up over the years.

These layers, I think, are built up because it is what society and/or our families expect us to be.

Alternatively, a layer can be created, because people would like others to see us in a certain way or because we want to protect ourselves.

Each of these layers build up a barrier, a costume or face, over the authentic personality until it is almost impossible to read or to know who the individual actually is. Almost impossible.

Many communities have many, many layers, but refreshingly, Retreat is very close to its core. This is something that is very heartwarming but scary at the same time.

Scary because it means that people come so close to a boiling point when they tell their stories; not only do people want to be heard, but they need the right action to be taken.

Things happen - life happens - but it is often your reaction towards the event that will determine its ultimate effect on you.

This is the story I am interested in telling: The reaction to a life-changing event and how people deal with it so that they didn't crumble, but became stronger.

Retreat is an incredibly colourful and uninhibited community and the stories unfold in front of you as if you were watching an episode of a favourite soapie.

Only time will tell how it all turns out.

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