Sunday, March 31, 2019

You don't give a lion a haircut

I spent the whole night, while my body slept, helping people to find and shape stories. With some, this meant helping them to find their voice, to speak in front of others, free of text, and to release their stories from the clutter of biography and explanation. First the adventure, later the discussion. With others, it meant getting the right words to line up together on a page. So many pages! Some beautiful creamy art paper, others veined like parchment, some ruled in composition books, others quite unruly.
    Some of the stories came from dreams. Some grew from the slightest wisp, the merest snippet from the night. Some were necklace stories, strung like bright beads on a string of incidents from the speaking land: the caw of that crow, the fall of that card, the vanity plate that read Camelot.
    Some were the work of literary privateers, given permission to steal a little from others. Some were inspired by shelf elves who arranged for a certain book to turn up or vanish at a creative moment.
   The unstoppable stories were the ones that had been seeking the teller for years, even a whole lifetime. I helped people shape these wild ones too, but only a little. You don’t give a haircut to a lion.

When I left my bed to walk my dog in the morning light, I felt deeply satisfied, the kind of satisfied when you have done a job that you chose to do as well as you can. Helping people find their best stories, and tell them so well that others want to hear them, is one of my greatest pleasures. And one of the greatest gifts of the Active Dreaming methods I have created is that we are forever encouraging each other to become both storytellers and story makers.

I will have the pleasure on embodying this dream at two beautiful physical locations where I am leading my 5-day residential retreat "Writing as a State of Conscious Dreaming" this year: at Mosswood Hollow near Seattle in May and at Ryzmburk near Česká Skalice in the Czech Republic in August.

photo: Path of Magic at Mosswood Hollow by RM

1 comment:

kylea said...

I love this: "I felt deeply satisfied, the kind of satisfied when you have done a job that you chose to do as well as you can." Especially wonderful when it's the "night shift".