Started in Copenhagen in 2000, Human Library quickly expanded around the world and has become a global phenomenon promoting compassion, dialogue, and understanding. The Gabriola Arts Council and Gabriola Public Library have teamed up to offer you the opportunity to borrow one of 12 Gabriolan “human books” from a curated collection of topics ranging from Bipolar Disorder to activism to Gender Queer identity (see below). Share 20 minutes of one-on-one time with your human book and get to know the real story behind the label.
Registration starts August 2nd. Free! At the Gabriola Library. Limited registration. Contact the Gabriola Library at 250-247-7878 to sign up.
Friday, August 19 10:30 am-12:30 pm
1. Sexual Intelligence for Body, Mind and Heart
How Sexuality shaped my Life and how I came to teach Somatic Sex Education for Adults
Raised in post war Germany, I experienced how the trauma bodies of World War Two survivors collided with the sexual revolution energy of the sixties. Instead of love and marriage I chose to head down the road of sexual “freedom” – and promptly became pregnant the first time I had sex! Life as a young woman in the seventies was at times very difficult. I was trying to be a good mother while wrestling with sexual relationships and paradoxical sexuaI messages within me and without me. I finally resolved to study the mystery of human sexuality myself to find some answers to my questions: why is there so much tension around sexuality? Why so much suffering? How might it be better, how could we arrive at a more relaxed, more informed, more pleasure-filled life within our own bodies and shared experiences, and how could we infuse our relationships with sexual understanding and joy?
2. What is the gender binary and how can I escape it?
Two queers in love discuss what it means to be neither a man nor a woman.
3. From the Pentagon to Gabriola – Viet Nam era deserter
The Vietnam war is now far in our past, and so is the draft, but the issues raised by that conflict regarding individual moral choice are still relevant. My experience as a draftee was that of being heavily coerced by a government to violate my personal moral code. The question I would pose to others of whatever political stripe would be: If your government demanded that you violate your ethics, what would you do?
4. Lifelong Social Justice and Environmental Activist
I was walking between taxis to get to the border to help the Palestinians pick their olives and came upon a young Israeli soldier with a large gun. He asked me why I was going alone and wanted to see what was in my backpack. I told him it was my lunch. He said he thought I had a bomb in there. After he looked I asked him if he had a grandmother and he said yes. I said how would you feel if someone held a gun to her head. He looked very embarrassed and lowered his gun and said go ahead. Sometimes I can get away with things because of my age and don’t act afraid.
5. From Addiction to Sobriety
She had every intention of not using this Friday night. It was Monday morning 11 am, she was dusting the first house of the week. Inner dialogue raged…. she hated cleaning houses, she was tired, she wanted to use. Tonight she would buy a bottle of wine, but what she really wanted was cocaine, but that would really screw up her day tomorrow. No her income could not be compromised, no cocaine tonight. She hated herself for using, she raged against the desire to use cocaine. The problem was it was all she really wanted.
6. Mindful: A Journey to Awakening
When 30 days of meditation dis-spells all your personality beliefs…then what?
How mindfulness Training has awakened me were there’s no turning back. Whoever said ‘the path to enlightenment was easy’? Not me. But it sure is beautiful! Beautiful because, not only do I live and see so much suffering that I can begin to heal and let go of but now I am more present and Mindful in Every Moment. In every moment I try my best to come from a place of loving-kindness, compassion, equanimity, gratitude, and Joy. I invite you to listen with the intention that it will open you up to new possibilities and perspectives in your own Journey of Awakening!
Saturday 2:30 pm-4:30 pm
1. Living with Bipolar Disorder: I’d Rather Chew Glass
I walk the line between brilliance and madness. Every day is a choice between paths and sometimes the illness robs me of that choice. Take a peek into my world and hopefully gain a better understanding of something you cannot see, but plagues millions. Mental Health Care matters.
I am exhilarated knowing there are more questions than answers. Polyamory opens the possibilities to new expressions of human families and relationships.
3. Becoming a Monk: A gay cancer survivor’s journey from western religion to eastern spirituality.
From the age of nine, I remember that all I wanted was to be a monk. The call was ancient, a part of my DNA reawakening to ritual and devotion. My sincere pursuit resulted in sincere suicidal preparations as I processed the Papal decree which declared that “all homosexuals are inherently evil”. I was bitter and “godless” when cancer arose in my DNA, calling me back to my eternal purpose. The buddhists kicked me out next when they learned that my marriage did not involve a wife. So why would I go on to become a Pandit? A Hindu priest in a 5,000 year old yoga tradition? And why would I ask to be trained so as to become a Swami? A monk who renounces all possessions, all relations, everything? Good question.
4. The Art of being a Twin: competing and sharing, solitude and community
How to be part of community and yet keep one’s own integrity; blending for teamwork and staying solitary for one’s own inner development. Former psychotherapist is concerned with maximizing human potential.
5. Parent of a Special Needs Child
Talk firsthand with a parent of a young adult with a development disability—and a very successful one at that! His high school teacher considers him to be a poster child for what is possible for people with developmental disabilities. From infant to graduate to employee…talk about the road travelled to be today’s successful young adult. As a special treat, the young adult may be able to attend if home from vacation.
6. Cancer Thriver
I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 45. It was in many ways a devastating experience. I did not know if I would survive. However, in retrospect I see it was the impetus to make significant changes in my life. It is 26 years since my diagnosis. It has not been an easy journey, yet I have not only survived, I have thrived.