am going to India.
stories are the way to reach people.
Even dry facts from books become interesting when inserted into a
story that is deepened, strengthened, and illuminated by them.
If the story is compelling and intriguing, working with those
otherwise dry facts becomes a juicy thing to do.
is a lot of evidence that the human mind is set up to think in story
We quite naturally construct a mental narrative in order to
understand what’s happening. I would say further that we find personal
meaning through seeing our individual story in the contexts of both the
larger story of our times, and what I call a Great Story, a Story that
tells us What It’s All About.
you do have to be careful with a Great Story, a meaning-giving story,
because the human mind has certain tendencies.
I’m thinking here of the tendency to find opposites, like good
and evil, and then get all angry and judgmental.
When these emotions guide our actions it may feel right at the
time but it may also get us someplace we didn’t really want to go.
In a Great Story there is often a battle between “good” and
“evil,” and although we know, to some degree, that each of us has a
mix of these elements, we tend to align ourselves with the “good”
and want to get free of the “evil.”
One common way we do this is to vilify some other(s) and try to
vanquish them. This lets us fight wars and kill people without seeing
that their humanity is quite the same as ours. (We can, of course,
identify with the “evil” and either revel in it or hate ourselves,
but that’s another story.)
It’s important that we are aware of this danger as we fashion
a girl I found inspiration in tales about slaves escaping southern
bondage and reaching northern freedom.
It’s easy to see the good /evil theme in such tales, and you
can bet I yearned for a chance to prove myself a brave child, ready to
do some modern equivalent of helping those escapees in every way I
I wanted to wake up into a story bigger than my own and do the
does happen in real life that you wake up to a bigger story going on
around you, and you have to figure out your role in it. You have to
weave the narrative you tell yourself about your own life, the bigger
story that you are part of, and the Great Story in which you find
meaning, into one coherent whole you can live with.
I am sure the Underground Railway won many recruits among people
seeing their lives in the double context of the events of their times
and a Great Story that guided them in what to do.
I want to tell stories that will have great power of instruction,
because I want to have an impact on the times we live in.
I want to be part of creating real change.
I want to be able to present, and enhance with facts, true
stories strong enough to woo people away from living within stories that
are destructive to the health of mind and body, to spiritual wholeness
and to the “beloved community” in which I count not only all people
but all living things and the
physical world of which we are an inseparable part.
at this time I have waked up into a story about our relation to each
other and to the Earth.
(I write it that way because that’s the available language, not
because We are Us and Earth is an It with which we relate.)
Way has opened for me to take a class in the company of some
great tellers of this story.
I know this will move me toward my goal of figuring out
how I will do my own telling.