Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Because Listening is an Act of Love

On Saturday, Mr. J and I did something wonderful. I don't know if you've heard about StoryCorps, but it is this great non-profit organization that is recording oral histories. They've been doing this since 2003 and it's nice to know that thousands of people have participated; future generations will be able to go to the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian to look up their family members and hear their voices.

StoryCorps is basically a conversation between two people. One person is the storyteller and one person is the interviewer and a 40-minute conversation is recorded. They provide a general list of questions, but the interviewer can ask anything. Lots of interesting things came out of that conversation with Mr. J and I, things I never knew about. I asked him questions like: What was the first thing he noticed about me when we met?, When did he know he loved me?, What is his favorite memory of me?, What do you think our lives will look like in 5 and 10 years?, and What are you most proud of me for?

I loved hearing his answer about what he's proud of me for. Throughout the whole 40 minutes we were laughing and kept smiling at each other, the kind of smile where your mouth hurts after awhile. While we were recording, there is a StoryCorps administrator who sits in the booth so that she can write down key words of the conversation to make it easier to find in the Library of Congress. You don't have to have your story go to the Library of Congress, but we loved that idea. For people of African descent, the Smithsonian is doing an oral history project, so we also released our story to go there.

I'm excited by the possibility of my children's children going to the Smithsonian to hear their grandparents talking about love.

I think it would be a good thing for couples to take a look at some of the questions on the StoryCorps website and ask that of each other. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised by the answers that come up, in fact Mr. J and I want to take time out of every month to ask each other questions like these.


Grace said...

Thanks for sharing your experience at the StoryCorps booth. What a sweet story! You can listen to clips of other recordings about romance, friendship, etc. on our website: I wish you the best with your upcoming wedding!


One Bride with Broom said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing :-)

Myra said...

I think this is the cutest idea. I think its such a great present for someone.. like my mom or to tell a story to leave for my nieces and nephews to hear...

Anonymous said...

Wow! that's amazing! And a great fun fact. I am calling my mom as I type this, I think my fiesty bossya$$ great grandmother and definately my grandma would love to do'd be a great adventure for the bossy chick click (greatgrandmother, grandma, & my mom) to participate in for mother's day.