Friday, August 01, 2008

Drama in our Lives

By Marge Eiseman

Storah On The Road

Some of my friends seem to have a lot of drama in their lives. They are either really up or down, and find the middle way quite boring. Another (more rational) friend and I were talking about the place of drama in our lives – and I was filtering this through my recent experience in training to become a Storahtelling Maven.

She said that the place of drama is to take the personal and make it universal – that’s why we read books and watch films and plays – to see how others handle situations that are drawn in sharper focus than real life (with the boring stuff edited out), and think about how we would respond in similar situations. Well, that’s if we’re reflective people. Sometimes, we just want to watch other people struggle with impossible situations (and we’re grateful that our lives are much simpler than that).

I likened the external drama in my friends’ lives to the inner emotional need expressed by the teens who cut themselves; for both, the need to feel something is overpowering. So where does this leave the drama and pain of the Jewish story? Are we addicted to suffering, to the highs and lows of encounter and abandonment within our relationship to G!D?

My attraction to Storahtelling and Bibliodrama is my way of entering into the story, to make the universal personal! I find the great treasure trove of stories in the scroll and the books to be like a scavenger hunt with clues for living a meaningful life. If, in the creation and presentation of a Storahtelling experience of Torah, I can convey my meaning to you and your congregation, then this circuit is complete. Personal to universal to personal to universal, and on and on it goes -- “the longest-running rerun in history”!

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