At one of his wonderful presentations on poetry and the inner life, Robert Bly once said, "Soul resides in old wooden spoons." And doesn't it though! Soul, character, life, years of being stirred of being handled. As a storyteller in the internet age I say, "Soul resides in books," and I want to encourage tellers to still look for stories there. Grow their collections- don't give up that path. When we search for our stories via internet or through a storytelling email group we are asking for the stories in order to fulfill a topic or a need. Already we have prepared the wrapping, the binding that may keep the story from saying what it truly would like to say to us. In that way, what we find may not give us what we need, even though it is a need-based search! 'I need a story that teaches violence prevention.' or 'I need a story that I can use from the Chinese culture.' The search then takes place with that lens in mind and on internet sites where the stories are splayed and displayed and digitally categorized. If you are lucky, the stories will still have some earth clinging to them, there will be notes about the sources and more variations you can track down. But I still believe in looking for stories over decades, 'book-hunting' in barns, cast-off collections at yard sales and finding stories in random odd places. Turning them over in the hand and then the mind and wondering what they might hold. What they are saying...who warmed them with their breath over time? "Soul Resides in Books."
See my related blog- New Year Synchronicity