Magazine article Psychotherapy Networker

Editors Note

Magazine article Psychotherapy Networker

Editors Note

Article excerpt

Editor's Note

Seventeen years ago, a storytelling phenomenon known as The Moth was born. It was the brainchild of a New York City poet who began by inviting ordinary people into his living room to tell five-minute true tales on a set subject--food, life in the fast lane, grudges, lying, the dark side, first love. Before long, these small gatherings of everyday raconteurs began to take place at numerous cafés across the city, and then in cities across the country. And now they occur in venues outside the United States, in places like London and Dublin and Sydney. The Moth's performances became widely known as story slams. And The Moth, wherever it happens to flutter and land, has become known as a modern reaffirmation of the ancient power of storytelling as a communal experience.

Fast forward to August 2015, when my wife, daughter, and I found ourselves in Berkeley, California, on vacation. We wandered around Telegraph Avenue, the Funkiness Capital of the Universe, but somehow, I just wasn't feeling it. We walked past the legendary Moe's Bookshop and the parade of other groovy shops, from Amoeba Music to Best Choice Psychic Reader to Industrial Tattoo to the Krishna Copy Center. Still, I felt out of place, a disengaged outsider looking in. I just couldn't feel the kind of far-out, surprise-me, creative energy I expected from Berkeley.

Fortunately, my daughter, Signe, knows me very well and how disoriented and out of sorts I can feel when I wander too far from the familiar routines that anchor me in life. She'd heard that The Moth had a strong Berkeley presence and had gotten tickets for that evening's story slam at a café called Freight and Salvage. As soon as I walked in, I felt--and there's no other way to say it--at home.

There were the requisite Millennials in the group, like my daughter, and a cache of Generation X- and Y-ers. …

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