For eight-and-a-half years, from 2007 to 2015, I published a companion blog to this one called The Elder Storytelling Place [ESP].
On each of five days a week, there was a new story written by a reader and in total during that time, about 300 individuals delighted, entertained and informed us with somewhere in the vicinity of 2200 stories.
They are still online and you can browse them here.
ESP came to an end when I realized I needed to cut back on the seven-day work-week I had maintained since Time Goes By [TGB] launched in 2004. A short time later, I also stopped publishing TGB on Tuesdays and Thursdays to give myself some breathing space.
Nancy Leitz, who died last week at age 89, was a star contributor to ESP and as I scrolled through some of her stories while preparing the announcement for last Saturday's post, it struck me that on a limited basis maybe we could resurrect this feature.
Perhaps, I thought, we could use those two empty days, Tuesdays and Thursdays, for a mini-version of The Elder Storytelling Place – two stories a week.
Here is part of what I wrote at that blog about what ESP was for:
”Everyone loves a good story. Long before there was written language, cavemen told stories by firelight, passing on the lore of their tribes to the next generations. When we elders were children, our parents read stories to us.
“At family gatherings, grandparents and aunts and uncles retold the incidents and events of our family histories. And today, we continue the tradition with our children and grandchildren.
“Among Carl Jung’s seven tasks of aging is to find meaning in one’s life and one way to help in this task is to pull together, piece by piece, one’s memories – great and small – into a coherent storyline.
“In doing so, there is a natural shift of our attention inward, says Jung, leading to the removal of regret and to reconciliation. In telling our stories we not only fulfill Jung’s task for ourselves, we pass on the wisdom we have gained to those who listen or read.”
And here are some of the guidelines we used then and I would use again:
• Anyone who is age 50 or older may submit stories.
• You do not need to keep a blog or any other kind of website to submit stories.
• Stories may be original or may have been previously published in a magazine, other website or blog. To avoid this blog becoming a promotional tool for authors and publishers, stories may not be excerpts from published books.
• Of course, all stories must be written by you.
• Although Time Goes By is copyright by me, story contributors retain the copyright their their stories.
It seems to me that I should be able to prep two stories a week for publishing without burying myself in extra work. So if you are interested in bringing back ESP on this new, limited basis, let me know in the comments below (in the comments only; no email).
You can just type yes or no. Whichever gets the most votes will determine if I go ahead with this feature.
Because all that is a bit dry, for those of you read this far, here is an amusement for you from our friend Darlene Costner. It is called The Amazing Human Body and I have no idea if these facts are true. But just go with it and you'll be rewarded with a good laugh at the end):
It takes your food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.
One human hair can support 6.6 pounds.
The average man's penis is two times the length of his thumb.
Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.
A woman's heart beats faster than a man's.
There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.
Women blink twice as often as men.
The average person's skin weighs twice as much as their brain.
Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.
If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.
Women will be finished reading this by now.
Men are still busy checking their thumbs.
Don't forget to vote yes or no in the comments below.