sheltering statement

 

We believe that love stories, through a shared experience, can help build compassion and understanding amongst individuals and across communities and nations. 

We hold a safe space for anyone to be deeply heard, to share the story of who they are, how they feel and how they have experienced connection and love.   

We nurture openness and understanding, we hope that through these stories people become recognised and 'seen', and through that recognition empathy and compassion can take root and grow.

Our love stories find a home here: a place where others can hear and connect with them.  They are the extraordinary and the everyday stories of people from around the world, talking about their experiences of love and being loved.  They express every emotion; loss, pain, joy, ecstasy, guilt, hurt, freedom.  They explore notions of community, of romance, of home, of being a stranger and of being found.  


JOURNEY OF UNDERSTANDING

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walking and sharing

To facilitate this work I have walked thousands of miles throughout the UK and I have journeyed and conversed with people across the world.   I walk carrying only a simple bag and a stick meeting with local people on the path and in the towns and villages, sharing our stories and exploring our experiences of love and connection.  

During these journeys I present individuals and communities with the opportunity to extend hospitality, to offer me a place to rest or perhaps some food on the journey.  I explore the experience of the 'stranger' and the 'guest'.  How do we respond to strangers in our community, at our front door?  What does that tell us about the way in which we communally express love?  What is the importance of a smile?  An open hand? Of being welcomed. 

Through walking I enter a place stripped of my possessions and status, open to any encounter, gently arriving, quietly leaving, unencumbered and free to meet people where they are. 

The living collection of love stories

Wherever it is possible and desirable I record the stories I hear.  These are then edited and given as a gift to those individuals who shared their story.  I then offer the opportunity for each story to be added to the online audio collection, where it can be shared around the world.  Here the connection can grow and the journey of understanding and compassion has the opportunity to extend beyond barriers of race and culture and nation.  

The Love Stories

In giving our love stories space and time we allow people the opportunity to explore and connect with some of the most profound experiences of their humanity.  Love stories seem to permeate every part of our lives.  They are our life stories, our experiences of connection with others and with the places we have lived. Our communion with the essential, with spirit, with ourselves.

For some people their love story will span decades and tell a tale of romantic love evolving through the passing years. Others' stories express fleeting moments of connection, care, concern.  Most love stories are marked by sadness and loss. Some stories are concerned with maternal and paternal love, others with a love of place, a visceral connection with spirit through landscape. One gentleman I met on the Downs played out his love story each day as he walked the same route in remembrance of love lost.  Love stories also connect deeply with our identities, in how we belong and how we are welcomed in society. And our love story will change from day to day.  They meet us where we are, at that moment.  Each story is different.  Each beautiful. Each valuable   

GATHERINGS & SHARINGS

The stories of our loving interactions  can be heard on the train, in the park, in homes and in all places where people come together.  With A Human Love Story I connect with individuals and groups as I walk and journey, meeting people where I find them; on the path, on the street, in the pub, around the corner, at the opera, in church, in prison, in their homes.  I also organise gatherings in communities working with specific groups to explore areas of experience. 

 In all these differing circumstances we come together as equals, sharing stories of our loving interactions in a safe and caring environment.  We engage in an act of vulnerability and openness.  Whether amongst groups, or when meeting with individuals, I believe in facilitating encounters where people can connect deeply, feel safe, tell their story and be heard, wherever and in whatever way that conversation may find its form.