What's all the fuss about?

Over the past year I have become obsessed with Oral History and storytelling.  It has snuck into my life.  Obsessed, as in 9 hours a day, working my way through the Alan Lomax Collection, The Moth, This American Life, and StoryCorps.  The recorded stories I have come in contact with in the past year comforted me. They showed me that people suffer and get by, that people make fools of themselves and that people fall in love.

This past year has been a hard one on my family.  I am twenty five years old and it has taken me this quarter century to personally know the impermanence of life.  To learn that however impossible it might seem, people die, people I know, suffer and die.  I am left with that big, HUGE, impossible, problematic, useless question of “why”? There is no cut and clear answer, but I have found comfort in hearing people’s stories of their lives and their loved ones, and that comfort is enough to make me believe that there is some kind of answer, a useless cloud of an answer, but who knows?

The plan...

 (As of July 2013)

At the end of August,  2013 I am leaving my home and my job in Boston, MA.   I will be traveling down the Eastern Seaboard and through the Deep South by bus and by train (and by car with kind friends who feel like joining me for a leg of the journey) with the express purpose of talking to people, hearing their stories, asking them some difficult questions, recording them, and sharing them.  I am planning my path based on the network of people I know and the people they know and so on and so forth.  My hope is to visit cities and country towns, to talk to old matriarchs and wily teenagers, basically anyone who wants to talk.   I will be curating a website as I go, using video, audio, photos and prose to introduce you to the people I meet and my experiences on the road and to save their stories.

View Impossible Questions Tour in a larger map

The route... 

I have some stopping points pre-planned, thanks to the friends and friends of friends generously opening their homes to me.  Take a look at my list below and let me know if you know anyone in these cities I should record, or if there are any cities and towns not on my list that should be.  You can email me at impossiblequestionstour@gmail.com.

The First Leg:

START: Somerville, MA

8/29 - 9/1 Beckett, Lee, & Lenox, MA

9/1 - 9/4 Albany, NY

9/4 - 9/5 New York City, NY

9/5 - 9/6 Syracuse, NY

9/6 - 9/12 Rochester, Olean and Cuba, NY

9/12 - 9/13 Ithaca, NY

9/13 - 9/16 New York City, NY

9/16 - 9/19 Virginia Beach, VA

9/19 - 9/22 Washington DC

9/22 - 9/27 Shepherdstown, WV

9/27 - 9/30 Virginia Beach, VA

9/30 - 10/4 Philadelphia, PA

10/4 - 10/5 Wilmington, DE

10/5 - 10/10 Pittsburgh, PA

10/10 - 10/14 Boston, MA & Burlington, VT (brief sojourn as I aid in the marriage of two good friends in Charlotte, VT)

10/24 - 11/2 Washington DC

11/2 - 11/8 Gordonsville, Colonial Heights, Richmond and Chester, VA)

11/8 - 11/12 Rougemont, NC

11/12 - 11/14 Durham, NC

11/14 -  11/16 Raleigh, NC

11/16 - 11/18 Chapel Hill, NC

11/18 - 11/19 Asheville, NC

11/19 - 11/22 Balsam, NC

11/22 - 11/27 Blue Ridge, GA

11/27 - 12/3 Atlanta, GA

12/3 - 12/5 Summerville, SC

12/5 - 12/9 New York City

12/9 - 12/14 Charleston, SC

12/15 - 12/17 Columbus, GA

12/17 - 12/21 New Orleans, LA

12/21 - Off to Nashville to hunker down and edit - yippee!