Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, March 11, 2011

The power of memoir

Last Friday I saw a play called "And then they came to get me." It was put on by the University of New Mexico Theater Department. It tells the story of a young girl, Eva Schloss, born in 1929 in Austria. Her family fled to Amsterdam to escape the Nazi's. There they met a young girl, Anne Frank. Both families ended up hiding for several years, before being deported to Auschwitz, one of many concentration camps.

The play juxtaposed live actors portraying the characters, and video of Eva Schloss telling her story. Eva and her mother survived the camp - her father and brother did not. And neither did Anne Frank. But Otto Frank, Anne's father, did survive. And he married Eva's mother.

At the end of the play, Eva Schloss came out on stage to answer questions from the audience. She was asked when it was that she began speaking about her experiences. She remembered the moment in 1986 when she attended the opening of the Anne Frank exhibit in London, where she was living with her husband and daughters. When the speakers were finished, the host turned to Eva and didn't ask, but assumed Eva would want to say a few words. She has never stopped.

There is something about speaking your truth that transforms, both you, and those who are listening to you. It doesn't matter whether you are a holocaust survivor, a sexual abuse survivor, or someone who may not have had such dramatic episodes in your life, but wants to share who you are...memoir, if done well, is a powerful tool.

Don't you want people to know who you really are?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Powerful story.

Joanne said...

I love memoir, and read it often. There's nothing more fascinating than life, and memoir lets us really get inside of so many different experiences, and days, and families. When I started writing, I'd never imagined I'd pen a memoir manuscript, but I did, and it's one that I'm querying now.

Karen Walker said...

Alex, yes, hers is a very powerful story.
Joanne, can't wait to read it.

Jules said...

Oh, I am jealous. I have seen interviews with her and have always wanted to talk to her. The holocaust museum in DC moved me to tears.

Memoir, truly my favorite reading material. I have been thinking about writing one but I'm not sure the world is ready for me :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Arlee Bird said...

I've always enjoyed hearing peoples' stories about their lives. I enjoy writing about my own life at times as well.

Sharon Lippincott said...

What a fantastic and moving experience. I'd love to see that play, especially with Eva at the end. Thanks for sharing this.