Some mornings, I have a grand plan to jump out of bed and attack the day, get it all moving... until the alarm goes off. And then, I get up anyway. I'm approaching today gently. A tooth was lost last night, so of course the tooth pouch had to be checked right away. Pets have been fed. I'm gearing up for some storytelling at Heartfelt in honor of Dr. King.
Today, I am acutely aware of the limits of my own understanding. I read an article this week, a beautiful blog post, by a social justice warrior who is stepping away from what she sees as a harmful culture of colonization and appropriation in the yoga community. I am feeling the weight of responsibility as a storyteller, to honor those whose stories I tell, and to tell stories that are authentic and honest. I want to tell the stories of people who chose beauty, peace, kindness, and truth, over fear, oppression, and force. I want to honor the work of those who have worked, and to continue that work through my own. Perhaps this discussion is already at work in the storytelling community, among those who make their living sharing not only their own personal histories, but tales from people and cultures they have never met. How do we do that? I don't have the answers yet. I am trying to live into the questions.
May we tell stories to our children today that lessen fear, that build strength and wisdom. Tagore said,
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers
I believe that telling children stories that instill fear and anxiety, about "the real world," does little to increase their strength, fearlessness, or heart. Instead, let's offer the children of the world stories of beauty, goodness, and truth, so that they may face the world with compassion and courage.
Can we really make one family of our disjointed lives, recognizing one another as brothers, sisters, parents, children?
It is the evening of the first day of a new year. And I am drawing a deep breath, open to beauty and possibility.
We are making changes around here, ready to step more and more fully into a life that feels right for us, right now. Part of me laments, how can it feel right? I'm still mourning the loss of my mother. There is still a world of uncertainty around the future.
And yet, the cold, clear air speaks of possibility.
You see, I can tell the days are growing longer. Oh, so slightly, you know. But here, on the other side of that dark, dark night, I am seeing hope.
May this year be full of beauty, grace, gentleness, ferocity, deep ancient magic, and tender newness.
Welcome, new year.
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.