Matthew Sanford and Kevin Kling, two renowned authors and storytellers, will meet on stage at the University of St. Thomas on Tuesday, Dec. 9, for a lively and moving discussion about the nature of storytelling in our lives.
“Mind Body Dialogues II,” moderated by Cathy Wurzer of Minnesota Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” will follow the central concept of how storytelling makes us human and how it affects our health, our healing and our happiness. Throughout the evening, the trio will explore how the stories we tell ourselves and others can hurt or heal and how this changes over the course of a lifetime.
This year’s event, “Healing through Story,” begins at 7 p.m. in James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall in the Anderson Student Center on the university’s St. Paul campus. Free and open to the public, the evening is sponsored by Health Partners, Mind Body Solutions, and the Project for Mindfulness and Contemplation at St. Thomas.
Having lived extraordinary lives of disability and ability, both Sanford and Kling have turned to the powerful nature of story to shape their live’s works. Injured in an auto accident at 13, Sanford has lived with paraplegia for 36 years. He has become an influential voice in the integrative health movement, an award-winning author, nationally recognized yoga teacher and sought-after public speaker. He founded the nonprofit Mind Body Solutions, a Minnesota-based organization whose mission is to serve people living with trauma, loss and disability. More information is available here and here.
Kling was born with a congenital birth defect, severely limiting the use of his left arm. More than 10 years ago he was in a motorcycle accident, rendering his right arm completely immobile. Kling is best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and his storytelling stage shows. Described as a keen observer of the human condition, Kling is an acclaimed humorist, playwright and the author of three books and a vast collection of stories on CDs. More information on Kling is available here.
Sanford and Wurzer are familiar faces on the St. Thomas stage. Last year, they launched the “Dialogues” series with friend and former St. Thomas dean, Dr. Bruce Kramer, in front of an overflow crowd of more than 1,000. Their discussion focused on living well in a difficult body. (Kramer was diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in late 2010.)
Kling, Sanford and Wurzer are friends and colleagues. Kling has worked on radio and television programs with Wurzer, and he collaborated with Sanford on various health care projects. Together they will discuss how we transition through life’s trials by the way we tell, listen and interpret story – in both mind and body.
Using humor, human connection and simple mind-body practices, the three will teach the audience how to recognize the innate and miraculous nature of story as healing agent – for both outward signs of disease and disability as well as the more hidden challenges of stress, anxiety and the like. The conversation, led by Wurzer, will showcase Kling’s wit and Sanford’s insight to both entertain and inspire.
“Mind Body Dialogues” is an ongoing series of public-forum, moderated conversations. Like last year, the forum will be rebroadcast on Minnesota Public Radio and Twin Cities Public Television.