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?
Sara Renee Logan has been telling stories to everyone who would listen since she was seven. She organized storytimes for her college roommates, and spent a year at Oxford studying folklore and folktales. Many years as a Waldorf teacher allowed her to tell stories about everything from Baba Yaga's hut on chicken legs to the water cycle to the life of Joan of Arc. Sara shares her life with her partner, Melanie, their son, and an unreasonable family of pets. She continues to share her love of storytelling and stories with audiences of all ages, specializing in bringing the wild beauty of folktales to young and old. Sara writes about parenting, storytelling, and about living a life with stories.