RB63: Rising from the Ashes

January 10, 2018
“Rising from the Ashes”
by Marci White

Storytellers shared intense and marvelous stories at Rabbit Box’s “Rising from the Ashes” at The Foundry this January.

More than 250 people listened to moving accounts of trauma, shock, difficulty, despair, and conflict followed by healing, renewal or self-insight. The healing was assisted by some combination of time, acceptance, perseverance and personal support. Some people rose from their ashes many years ago. Others roses more recently, and, as one crackerjack storyteller said, “I’m still kind of stewing in my ashes.”

Our friend Tara Stuart was on fire as the night’s emcee!

Krystle Cobran told about some of the pain associated with everyday racism — the worst of which is when a trip to the grocery store can turn into an anxiety-producing, emotional experience.

After a traumatic event, Sarah Bradley wanted to dissolve into the earth one summer and just disappear. She realized what she really needed was a long “conversation with anger” and a path to healing.

Between Brad Smith and his dad, things came to a head one Christmas when his dad had yet another angry outburst in front of the family. Brad didn’t want his kids exposed to that and told his dad so. But his father, a Presbyterian pastor, wasn’t about to back down.

Abbey was raised in a dysfunctional family, with a parent suffering from mental illness. Now in college, Abbey has had to confront and try to find help for her own mental illness, which manifests as a severe anxiety disorder. She’s learning to accept herself for how she is, to be okay with that, and also seek help. For now, every day when she gets out of bed she is “rising from the ashes.”

John Roper found himself taken to jail again — “this time, for something serious.” If convicted he could be facing a lot of jail time. He had to go through a week of drug withdrawal in a holding cell. Then at Christmas, the harsh lights of jail softened into something golden and reassuring, and his outlook changed dramatically.

David Bothe’s name was chosen as the Crackerjack Surprise storyteller. He talked about an old mini-van with some serious issues that would be costly to repair for him or some unsuspecting future owner. Hard-pressed to pay, could he take the ethical path?

Faye Fleming wasn’t sure she could ever recover from a devastating loss. What she dug out of the ashes of that loss — and something beautiful created from what she found — finally enabled her to go on with her life.