Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Kenoter Nancy Slonim Aronie knocks our socks off at SCN National Memoir Conference

By chance, I encountered Nancy in the hallway before her talk. My gaze caught by the runching and siver-shine of her skirt. She was also sock-footed, sans shoes. "Oh, I had these shoes especially made," she mentioned off-handly. "Forgive my gaze, it was the lines and fabric of your skirt that caught my eye. I'm a sock-lover, too," I said, pulling up my trouser-legs to show her my current foot-garb. "Ever since I left organizational life, I only wear socks." We chatted a moment more and then I stuck out my hand to introduce myself...and found I'd been chatting with our keynote speaker. I'd had no idea.

That's the charm of Nancy Slonim Aronie...slightly madcap, no airs, and an opening address that knocked our socks off, "We Are All Alchemists: How to Turn Your Sorrow into Gold."

She's been there; she's still there; she knows; and she tells. Here are a few notes I jotted down in between my mesmerized attention.

--"Let go of what you need [from the other person] and go to where [the other person] lives." (To me, this is the definition of compassion.)

--"There are people who are very loyal to their suffering."

--"Why do you give everything away so fast?"

--"We see through the prism of our wounds."

--"Why do you let him make such a fool of you?"

--"the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves"

--Why his son stopped being angry: "I realized it wasn't helping anything."

Oh, and did I mention she's hecka-funny? The audience loved her and enjoyed laugh after laugh. She has impeccable comic timing, and can move from tears into a laugh line. What a performance! A performance of truth, by a woman of heart.

I take my socks off to you, lady...but I'll wash them first before I give them to you.

[For sock lovers amongst you, you may recall my post on "Sushi Socks"]

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3 Responses »

  1. Another sock lover - I knew you were a Woman with Sole(s)! ;D Thanks for sharing the list. Maybe I'll knit some socks for next year's auction.... yes, I have an idea forming already. And plenty of time.

  2. Yes, Dani. Welcome to the Sock Sisterhood. Join my Sock Sister Club today, and Save!

    Sole-fully yours,
    Janet

  3. Janet - Happy February... Now over flu, I am writing to clear the sinus. Maybe I should use a sock. I really enjoyed the scribbles (so to speak) that you made during the talk.

    The sock is always waked on, usually one of a pair is lost (and never found) and in reward the sock gets its very own drawer - usually at the top of the clothes chest. So, my points are that like socks our emotions are usually tugged at, pulled in directions that you would rather not go, at times lost. Emotions have a mysterious element of power. In order to overcome that power "We" (the single, focused person) must know what you want, why and from this what the expectation is for you.

    Socks are socks; emotions are emotions, and like one scribble notes, ”There are people who are very loyal to their suffering.” If you choose to embrace what keeps you lost, like a sock stuck behind the dryer for a year, you may never be found - ever. That is your choice. Just like whether or not to wear one pair of socks or two, wool or cotton. Why walk over yourself even if the socks you wear seem comfortable and in a way protect you?

    Peace. Ken T.

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