To feel vulnerable and weak in the face of life’s pressures and disappointments is normal but can also be overwhelming. Fear of rejection by others, fear of their scorn or displeasure, fear of being stigmatized, the exhausting cycle of self-rejection, depression and despair — thus we fold in on ourselves, hide our feelings and our shame, and suffer silently. But, as we know, this leads to a profound and dangerous separation from others, and from wholeness of self. It is at that moment that we most need to speak our truths, to tell our stories, to break the walls of isolation and fatigue. That’s when we most need the witnessing of others. That is what 100Stone represents, shining the bright light of acceptance into ourselves and each other as we join as allies.
When someone in pain speaks their truth, pain does not vanish but becomes its own narrative. Our stories do not abolish our vulnerabilities but transform them into truth and — so critical to our health and survival — into connection with others. Your witness to such stories, your active participation in the truth-telling of others, gives rise to an emotional and spiritual commons. The recognition that others listen and share lets vulnerable people know they are not alone. Shame and isolation, the taproots of suicide, are therefore defeated. This is why those who witness the stories and truths of 100Stone — you — are so important. The narratives embodied by these sculptural forms circulate along the shore of Cook Inlet, among the expressions of personal truth being swept out to sea. But not before you have symbolically heard them. Not before your witness has saved someone who bravely unburdened herself or himself of a story waiting urgently to be told.
100Stone is an Alaskan project, made by hundreds of Alaskans. What you see here was made in sanctified settings filled with joy and fellowship. These stories are gifts to you in a gesture of solidarity.
We see you. We are you.
This is about life, not death.
National Suicide Lifeline: 800-273-8255Careline Alaska: 877-266-4357Crisis Text Line: text 741741