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Thoughtful Thursday: Life's Stories

“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here.”-- Sue Monk Kidd

Several Saturdays ago, a lovely visitor to the gallery shared an hour or so with me. She wasn’t in the market to purchase any paintings but so loved art that she hoped I would let her enjoy what is hanging on our walls. With each question she asked about an artist or painting, she revealed little bits of her own story. She is of an age that encourages the imparting of memories as hallmarks and treasures of a life fully lived. I learned about her husband, children and how much this very proud Mimi adores her grandchildren. This transplanted New Yorker has made Chestertown her home for over 50 years. We tell our stories for a variety of reasons and the mere act of reciting the story over and over again allows you to hold onto the intangible….but oh so meaningful!

More than a life narrative, our stories shape us; they explain our whys and why-nots. Story-telling is how we instill values, traditions and sense of history in our increasingly fragmented and transient families. A memory shared is a gift to the storyteller and to the listener. A story can morph and change with each retelling, but the experience and lessons learned have the power to inspire, protect and connect generations.

You are the author of your story, and the artist is the illustrator. My new friend recounted that her own art collection chronicles her life as each painting memorializes a special event or experience: a vacation, recovery from a health crisis, empty-nest, and retirement. A painting can prompt a forgotten memory, give vision to a dream or commemorate a milestone. To illustrate your story, visit our gallery in Chestertown or online at

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