Tuesday, January 10, 2012
What's the story?
We had some snow yesterday for the first time this winter. It's all gone today.
Besides being a social, optimistic, audacious, creative, ambitious species, we homo sapiens are quintessential story tellers. In fact, a big part of what the brain does is interpret and shape incoming information so as to create the story of "reality." Yeah, reality is nothing more than a story our little buddy the hippocampus tells us.
We enact the stories we tell ourselves with great drama and great flair. All of life's a stage on which we play out the ancient myths, generation after generation. Choose any myth based on the archetype of the hero's journey, from the Odyssey to the Quest for the Grail, to the movies about superheros - all these stories are artful creations that describe the experience of transformation. Becoming (another way to think about it) is the essential "truth" of life lived in a human body. Who among us hasn't, at one time or another, had to slay a dragon, capture the golden fleece, behead the gorgon, travel to faraway lands and places, face hardship and fear, and finally endure a rite of passage in order to become more fully realized? Coming of age, graduations, marriage, pursuits of spirit and body, as well as climbing the ladder at work, all require valour, courage, and persistence. To prevail on planet birth, you must be a hero, hence the stories of derring do.
The hero's journey arises from the story of birth, told from the perspective of the baby. It is the foundational event that becomes the foundational myth describing the way our lives unfold in ever changing environments. We re-enact that myth countless times and in many arenas during the span of our lifetimes.
We are profoundly ingenius. Even at night we tell ourselves stories in dreamland. If we weren't storytellers, what would "reality" look like? I guess I'll never know which is fine by me!
Yesterday I told a friend that if life were a movie (and oh my it surely is), then my marriage was a rather prolonged intermission. She laughed, but then said I was incorrect to assert I gave my husband the best years of my life because this period of time, right now, right here in the chateau on a beautiful street in a magnificent city - THESE are the best years of my life. Oh yeah, she is spot on!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Shalom.
Tonka twitched and sniffed in his sleep, telling himself a story of canine heroism, no doubt!