Blast From The Past:
In honor of the next phase in The Abortion Diary’s work, I have gone back to the archives and pulled out our very first diary entry. Samantha was the first person who shared her abortion story with me for the podcast. I met her at a workshop and when I mentioned the project four other women in the room said they had had abortions and offered to share their stories. I will never be able to express in words how I felt that day. I had felt alone for so long and there I was in a room of about ten people and half of us had had abortions.
A few weeks later, on a morning in late October, I met Samantha at her home. Her one year old son was sick and at home while we recorded. You can hear him in the background talking, breathing heavily, banging on the table and playing with some toys. She shared her story as she breastfed and soothed him to sleep. I learned a lot about sharing, listening and recording that day (and continue to learn with every story shared). There were also a few mishaps I won’t mention right now. The biggest lesson I learned that day was that the environment can never be controlled and it shouldn’t be.
People have real lives. Lives before and after. Lives that change and are re-created. I never know what someone’s environment (apartment, house, office, backyard) is like until I show up to record their stories. I don’t know who will or won’t be there. I actually don’t know very much about their lives at all before I get there. Sometimes you’ll hear drilling next door, people conversing across the hall, police sirens, kids playing in the background, dogs barking or cats meow-ing (and sometimes they listen attentively) , a salsa band rehearsing in a garage down the street or maybe the wind distorts the audio. Sometimes moms are called away by their children or, as in Samantha’s case, join in our sharing. Sometimes family members come home early or co-workers walk in. It’s all part of recording on the road and in unknown spaces. But what’s special about it is that if you listen carefully, you too will get a deeply intimate glimpse into the lives of those who have shared their abortion stories with the podcast; lives apart from their abortion story. And we are very lucky to be allowed into that life as well as their abortion experiences. Well, now I’ve gone and gotten all nostalgic and misty eyed.
Here is Samantha (and Baby J’s) story here.
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Founder | Curator | Dedicated Story-listener