Beginnings – The Understory

(The “understory” is a thematic weaving together of the 9 stories, written live as they are heard and then performed as a  summary of the night.)

If it begins with, “Oh boy, stage fright!”, it ends with finding your voice.
What begins with chapstick parties on the school bus, with a dinosaur thrown in, becomes twenty years of friendship.

The firsts of a new relationship are an all-too perfect beginning that ends in a phone call. And with the douchebag gone, becomes you, just you, saying, “Yes!”

When it begins with a naïve, if confident, traveller in 1971, be glad it didn’t end up in Turkish prison like it could. But if it begins with, “I’m just dead to the world,” you just know an obituary’s coming. And a very awkward funeral.

What began in Vermont on September 12th, 1983 became a new start: a path of creativity and identity lived stitch by stitch. Meanwhile, the feminist collective that began in Knoxville in ’94 did not end well. But it birthed its own legacy of voices & creativity, of thriving beyond surviving.

However it begins, and however it ends, peacefully, loved & cherished we hope, it’s always a new beginning for those you leave behind.

Remember: if you begin as Linda, you might end up as Mae. You can end up whoever you want to be. Even if that means re-beginning as Linda.

tenx9nashville, this was your (under)story.

Big thanks to our storytellers. You made this another great night. – Cary.

Kristen Chapman-Gibbons – Beginnings

Tenx9 regular Kristen Chapman-Gibbons shares her story “Creating a Space Where There Was None,” about–among other things–creating a feminist collective only to get thrown out. Our theme was “Beginnings.” 

Big Blue Dot Y'all

Tenx9 Nashville hosts monthly storytelling events in Nashville and around the world. I am deeply honored to be a part of this community of people. Our motto is an Irish saying, “It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” The joy, insight and beauty of true stories leaves my heart larger every time I go. Find an event. Start a satellite Tenx9 in your city. The theme this month was, “Beginnings.” I tried to make this one “NPR-friendly.”

You hear it all the time in some drippy social media post — it’s not the destination…it’s the journey. And yeah, sometimes that is true – like when you want to be a Human Rights attorney when you are 8, but then you grow up and share classrooms with others wanting to practice law and you fear for your soul. So…you shift, you adapt and you allow…

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