Today in Reverb15 Kat McNally invites reflection with this prompt:
Muriel Rukeyser once wrote: The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms. And I could not agree more. Our stories are our own but, in sharing them, they become universal. And timeless.
What stories touched you this year? Which stories of your own are you glad you shared?
There are so many stories that hurt my heart this year and made me wonder just how much intolerance and lack of compassion and entrenched separation consciousness the world can hold collectively before we implode. A breath of peace and a prayer of light for all those stories and the people in them.
It’s precisely because things have felt so relentlessly in-our-face challenging this year, that more than ever before I committed to embracing what astrologer and author Rob Brezsny calls Pronoia – the antidote to paranoia and the theory that the universe is busy conspiring to shower us with blessings. I had visions of perhaps creating a Good News zine or some such creation to counter in some small measure all the ways so many of us are feeling bruised. I never got around to it, although it’s still in the hopper for consideration for next year. But I did pay attention to a myriad of wonderful stories, some of which made my brain explode in happiness, and I hold them with great joy in my heart. I turn them over and over deriving comfort and delight.
My very favorite story, because it seems so magical, is about Chiara Vigo, a weaver, who is thought to be the only person left who can harvest sea silk, known as byssus, which comes from a clam. She harvests the silk, spins it, and give it to those in need. It’s a very limited and precious commodity, just as Ciara is a precious gift. Golden sea silk – just imagine!
Another story that makes my heart smile and leads my brain into thoughts of magical circuses is about a whole village whose is populated by Russian tightrope walkers.
And then there’s the story about Jez Burrows who embarked on a project creating very short stories composed entirely of example sentences from various dictionaries. What a delight!
As far as stories I’ve told, I think the one that has been most useful is how I’ve come to imagine we’re like the wonderful nesting Matryoshka dolls. I like to think that the inner doll is pure me, my shining soul self, and the outer nesting dolls are things that delight me and I’m resonance with. But I can move my attention both inward and outward. When I’m honestly being myself, that inner doll, and call to me those things that delight me, those things are close to me, in resonance, fitting like beautiful gloves complimenting me (those outer dolls). They reflect who I am, and those on the other edges can get a sense of what might be inside if they dig a bit deeper.
Just as interesting is looking at the energy flow in the other direction. Working from the outer edges of the largest outside doll – (things that excite and inspire me outside myself) – when I pay attention to those things I can also use that awareness to more clearly know myself. It is through these understandings of what my preferences are that I come to know myself, to define myself with more clarity. Another example of the in-breath and the out-breath.
I’ve talked to a number of people about this who have found this idea helpful. But most useful to me is the encouragement of a friend to continue work on a project where I explore this more deeply in a series of work. So the image and story feel like both an inner and external blessing, a definite win-win in my book.
I’d love to hear what stories have filled you this year. Do tell.