When the giver and receiver become one

By BEVERLY STERNER
Posted 12/31/19

You could feel it walking in…

Entering the lobby with friends who remember when the Tusten Theater wasn’t, when DVAA was very young—when we were all younger.

Old friends …

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When the giver and receiver become one

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You could feel it walking in…

Entering the lobby with friends who remember when the Tusten Theater wasn’t, when DVAA was very young—when we were all younger.

Old friends amongst new, on Sunday, December 15, we gathered like extended family in support of two of our own.

You could feel the love.

It was a warm, almost electric buzz as we greeted one another, pausing to hug or chat a bit. We were here to see a benefit performance of Yarnslingers, starring our friends, in support of two of our friends who are combating cancer.

Yarnslingers are people who can spin a great yarn—people who tell fantastic stories. It was started by Ramona Jan of Callicoon who has been gathering Yarnslingers to tell their true short stories in and around Upstate NY since 2010.

One Yarnslinger is Jonathan Charles Fox, a teller of stories since he was born, I think. Along with other talents too numerous to mention but to those who know him—and who doesn’t—although he photographs and writes about stars, he himself is one.

Enter Greg Triggs, yet another multi-talented producer of many things and, although a relative newcomer to Narrowsburg, he quickly became a Yarnslinger. It was Greg’s idea to produce this benefit and so, along with fellow Yarnslingers and the generous support of DVAA, TRR, local Narrowsburg businesses and a cast of many volunteers, he helped create a truly memorable evening.

I won’t be able to even name the individual Yarnslingers and all the folks who performed and gave so generously and still have room for this column. (See Yarnslingers on Facebook for the program listings.) Suffice it to say that Ramona opened and Jonathan closed, with
Bizzy Coy, Cass Collins, Kazzrie Jaxen and Glenn of Trees filling the middle. They each told their marvelous stories in such exciting, funny and touching ways that kept us all riveted. “I wasn’t bored for a minute,” said my critical friend. One after the other, each stood on that bare stage and filled it with their personal stories—and filled us in the process.

What was it that was so special about that evening?

Everyone felt it. For me, their stories gave us little pieces of their truth in words expressed with such authenticity—cause we’d know it if they were lyin’—carrying us along, entranced, following their story, listening to their story. It was their warmth, their vulnerability that captivated us and invited us in. Their stories were beautiful, sad and disarming; hilarious, touching and charming.

It was a full house. The steady stream of applause that erupted after every Yarnslinger performance carried our hearts in our hands, clapping, all of us together, a community who love and appreciate art and who help care for their artists.

There is power in story, in the opening and telling of it, the detail and the nuance that makes it all real and come alive, if only we are open to listen.

Because it is in the opening that we connect and the giver and receiver can become one.

Thank you, dear Ramona and Jonathan, for giving us the opportunity to give to you.

Their need continues, along with their courageous stories.

You can get in touch with Ramona Jan at yarnslingers.@yahoo.com, and Jonathan at jonathanfox@riverreporter.com.

Both Ramona and Jonathan are inoperable and relying on alternative methods in their battles with cancer.

Beverly Sterner is a veteran of the nonviolent peace and civil rights movements, a teacher and therapist of the Pathwork and the founder of the Upper Delaware Community Network.

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