“Everything I’m About to Share is Incomplete”

I’ll never forget the time (the only time) I heard Elliot Eisner speak. It was 2009. I was in Tempe, Arizona, fortunate to have been invited as part of a group to share some narrative work at a Narrative, Social Research Conference. Sitting in a chair on the typical conference stage, a bit hunched over, you could tell he was a tall man, and he distinctly radiated the energy of a scholar and a grounded human all at once. He began his talk with, “Everything I’m about to share is incomplete,” and I immediately wrote his words in my journal. The humility of this statement stayed with me…if someone as wise and well- lived as Eisner is sharing, toward the end of his life, that his thoughts and understandings are incomplete, well, then mine are incalculably minute. So, I too, will let you all know that everything I share will be incomplete.


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