Transformation: Lectures, Conversations and Storytelling about Healing and Social Action

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The Transformation storytelling series features community organizers, advocates, healers, survivors, theorists, and artists, in the role of “storyteller”. Storytellers will draw from their life experiences and personal and communal narratives and histories in order to speak to the seven event themes included in the series. The events in the Transformation series are intended to speak to our collective desire for deep social change, and to support us in finding the energy, strength, connection, and knowledge that we need in order to repair our world, and to heal ourselves and our communities.

 

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Repair is grateful to Aurora Levins Morales for her inspiring and nourishing body of work as a storyteller, historian, and poet, and for graciously allowing us to include quotations from her writings in our event publicity. Quotations used and citations and/or digital links are listed below:

Quotation used in the Transformation Storytelling Series:

"The stories we tell about our lives shape what we're able to imagine, and what we can imagine determines what we can do.  My job is to change the stories we tell and help us imagine a world where greed has no power, the earth is cherished and all people get to live safe and satisfying lives.  Because once we truly imagine it, the pull to create it becomes irresistible."

- Aurora Levins Morales  

Quotation on “Resilience”:

"The only way to bear the overwhelming pain of oppression is by telling, in all its detail, in the presence of witnesses and in a context of resistance, how unbearable it is. If we attempt to craft resistance without understanding this task, we are collectively vulnerable to all the errors of judgment that unresolved trauma generates in individuals. It is part of our task as revolutionary people, people who want deep-rooted, radical change, to be as whole as it is possible for us to be. This can only be done if we face the reality of what oppression really means in our lives, not as abstract systems subject to analysis, but as an avalanche of traumas leaving a wake of devastation in the lives of real people who nevertheless remain human, unquenchable, complex and full of possibility."

- Aurora Levins Morales, Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity, 1998, South End Press.

Quotation on “Hope”:

"When you inhale and when you exhale
breathe the possibility of another world
into the 37.2 trillion cells of your body
until it shines with hope...

Don’t waver. Don’t let despair sink its sharp teeth
Into the throat with which you sing.  Escalate your dreams.
Make them burn so fiercely that you can follow them down
any dark alleyway of history and not lose your way."

- Aurora Levins Morales,  “V’ahavta”

Quotation on “Imagination”:

"We live in a society that tries to reduce our biggest dreams to marketable packets of distraction or comfort, as if that were the most we could hope for, but comfort and distraction are not the wellsprings of joy. We live in a society that tries to control us through bribery and threat, hoping we’ll decide to live small lives that won’t upset the way things are... But we are people, with the gifts of both memory and imagination, able to learn from our many histories, and create what does not yet exist. It makes it possible to face the terrible with joy."

- Aurora Levins Morales, Tai: A Yom Kippur Sermon

Quotation on “Clarity”:

"There are stories that reveal the scapegoats we have been reviling as fully human and struggling like ourselves. There are stories that show resistance is not futile when we assumed that it was. There are stories that make connections between experiences that seem completely separate and expose the underpinnings of domination. There are stories that crack open lies and make complacency intolerable. There are stories that build trust, allow catharsis, honor grief, validate rage, offer unexpected and heart melting examples of solidarity, and bestow courage."

- Aurora Levins Morales, Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity, 1998, South End Press.

Quotation on “Integrity”:

"Solidarity comes from the inability to tolerate the affront to our own integrity of passive or active collaboration in the oppression of others, and from the deep recognition that, like it or not, our liberation is bound up with that of every other being on the planet, and that politically, spiritually, in our heart of hearts we know anything else is unaffordable."

- Aurora Levins Morales, Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity, 1998, South End Press.

Quotation on “Trust”:

"The moment will come when we will trust enough in who we are and will be, in which the past will weigh less than the possible, in which our scars will transform themselves into tattoos of our histories. In one hand, we will carry individual autonomy, and in the other the broadest and deepest solidarity, and they will beat their perfect rhythm on the drums of daily life."

- Aurora Levins Morales, “Declaracion”

Quotation on “Solidarity”:

"The work of identifying and removing the invasive and parasitic beliefs about each other that we have been deliberately infected with can be painful and mortifying, but it is also joyful beyond measure. When the fog is burned off, what remains is an illuminated social landscape, where the entire geology of our lives is laid bare.  This is the landscape of solidarity, where no life is a distraction, where we move in and out of our necessary home spaces, continually expanding the area of the liberated commons, that world-in-creation where all of our identities simultaneously mean everything and nothing, because every excuse for injustice is gone."

-  Aurora Levins Morales, Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity, 1998, South End Press.