Dan Yashinsky at “A Bit Crack” on Zoom, 5 February 2021. Definitely one to remember!

I have known “A Bit Crack Storytellers” for over 26 years and the meetings, live or, more recently, on Zoom have always been places where there was warmth and welcome regardless of whether you were an old friend or a complete stranger. When Malcolm Green asked me to write a few words about tonight’s meeting, I had no idea that I was going to have the very great privilege to write about one of the most enchanting and moving of sessions. Quite apart from what was said, I found it notable that when we were invited to make comments, we actually got great periods of the most warm and companionable silence, a mark of true respect and appreciation for the sheer magic in the air. A hundred or more people, from all over the globe, attended and there were old friends I have not seen for years and friends I have met in other countries and other contexts or at other Zoom events. Over all, the time range for those attending must have spanned over14 hours: morning in Australia, afternoon in the USA and Canada and evening in Europe.

The theme was “Talking to Strangers”, so, so relevant today and so against all the restrictions of Covid lockdown. Not just talking, also listening. I heard familiar stories told as I have never heard them before and some new tales too. All the telling, whether by Dan Yashinsky himself or any other contributor, was from the heart and inspired by the beautiful energy of the event – and it was an event, a great event and Dan’s presence clearly brought in people who could never have come to a live meeting. Zoom has been good to me but I have always said that nothing can replace the effect of the living, breathing audience and I still maintain that this is true but this session got as near as is possible to creating that sense of life for us. How? For me it was by the love that radiated from Dan and his tales and from everybody in the space. I can use nothing but superlatives. This was a truly great evening and A Bit Crack deserves our deepest gratitude for this inspired invitation. Thank you so much!!!

Martin Manasse