Yesterday my wife and I recorded an interview with StoryCorps. Fran interviewed me. I talked about my childhood memories of religion, my spiritual awakening at age 16, my entry into and eventual disillusionment with the charismatic renewal, and my adult journey from Episcopalianism to Neopaganism to Catholicism, always with the foundational interest in Christian and world mysticism impelling me forward.

It was quite a lot of fun. StoryCorps is set up at our local public radio station, so we recorded my story using broadcast quality equipment. We were there for about an hour, and recorded for about 40 minutes. We received a CD of the talk, which I haven’t had the courage to listen to yet, but I think it will sound pretty good. All StoryCorps recordings are archived at the Library of Congress, so a copy of our session will be archived there, presumably forever. All that the good folks from StoryCorps asked from us in return was an optional $25 tax-deductible contribution. What a bargain.

I want to go back and record another session, this time with Fran as the storyteller and me as the interviewer. She certainly has some tales to tell, particularly about giving birth to, and raising, a profoundly handicapped child. But she’s not sure she wants to do this. She’s not as much of a showoff as I am!

If you live in Atlanta, StoryCorps will be here through most of 2010. I’d encourage you to set up an appointment and go tell your story. I’d love to do it again, but I won’t hog time as a storyteller — although I sure would be happy to interview others, and if my wife won’t take me up on the offer, maybe someone else will.

If you don’t live in or near Atlanta, be sure to check the StoryCorps website to see in what other cities around the nation StoryCorps recordings will be taking place. It’s such a beautiful thing: telling our stories, and listening to others tell theirs. We need more of this in our world. Hats off to the StoryCorps people for facilitating such a wonderful thing.

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Green Monk

    Sounds great! I may have to check if it is here in my city as well.