October Story:Heart of Stone

At a recent speaking event in Michigan I met a man with tears tattooed at the corner of his eyes.  I knew what they meant.  Each tear stood for a life that he had violently taken.  He introduced himself as Manuel.  He was 38 years old, in his eleventh month away from prison.  I listened to his story.  He was conceived through the rape of his 15 year old mother.  His father, the perpetrator, was never caught, his name unknown.  Manuel grew up rejected by his aunts and uncles, referred to as “the bastard” by his grandparents and neighbors.  His step-father resented him, refused to call him son, and frequently beat him.  Wounded by the cruelty and rejection of those around him, at age twelve he joined a gang, sold drugs, committed robberies, and at sixteen became a killer.  “My heart was a heart of stone,” he confessed to me.  “I couldn’t feel any more.”
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Strangers in a Strange Land: Travel Stories

Dreams of Mt. Sinai, Island Fever, Visions in the Congo, Kindness in Kabul, hear these and other tales as regular locals Steve Scholl, Maggie Sullivan, Cat Gould, Shoshanah Dubiner, and Rick Browne share experiences under the theme, “Strangers in a Strange Land.” Sponsored by the Hearth:Real Stories by Regular Folks and Triptykos.  It all happens at our next storytelling event on Thursday, October 7th, from 7 to 9:30pm at 717 Siskiyou Blvd (the grey Congregational Church building), Ashland, Oregon.  Hosted by Mark Yaconelli with Eastern European music by Duane Whitcomb and friends.  Cost is $5 and all proceeds will go to disaster relief in Haiti.