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My mother — artist, writer, and social justice advocate Worth Cooley-Prost — passed away in May 2014. She died roughly two weeks after her lung cancer diagnosis, too soon to finish capturing her stories for posterity.

My mother was a Storyteller in a very sacred sense, even though that could be challenging in the everyday world.

We’re a storytelling species and screens have replaced our campfires.

We’re not used to Storytellers being in our midst, doing their thing in their daily lives, and passing on the kinds of wisdom that doesn’t always fit neatly into books or episodes without editing for snackable consumption.

When I came across a folder full of snippets she’d been gathering/working on for her unfinished book, the discovery offset my woe at losing so many of her stories.

The urge to share some of what I’ve found was immediate and to that end I created this blog.

These are not finished works. These are not even polished works.
What they are is precious and irreplaceable and I hope you enjoy them.

If they resonate, you probably would have gotten a kick out of mom.

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Worth Cooley-Prost, artist, writer, social justice advocate and a woman of fine mind, wise heart and a defined sense of the absurd, died unexpectedly Thursday, May 8th surrounded by loved ones. Worth was born in California, North Carolina was her heart-home, and she lived in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Willy, the technical yoda of the Smithsonian’s audio-visual department. Their daughter Eleanor, also an artist, is a designer and blueberry farmer in Pennsylvania. Worth’s friends, teachers, students and dear ones span the globe and Andrea the span of time.
Worth’s academic background was in psychology and sociology. In North Carolina she worked in human services, and after moving to the Washington area in 1980, she worked in biomedical research for 25 years.
Of her art of the past fifteen plus years, Worth said: “What I do is influenced, in more ways than I’m aware of, by roots in the coast and mountains of North Carolina… by a decade of deep attachments in Haiti and, more recently, the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico… by Gifts of learning from indigenous Peoples, especially those of our hemisphere, both North and South…. and by life teachers like Alan Watts, Kenneth Patchen, and my poet/friend Will Inman, who observed in 1966 that “Truth don’t stop to pick the teeth of the man that says it.”
In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates gifts made to the Worth Cooley-Prost memorial fund: – See more at: