Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Synchronisity!

A few years ago I had a "First Night" storytelling event where I wanted to tell not just any story but at least one story specifically related to our current New Year's Eve. I had never recalled seeing anything like that and was pretty sure I wouldn't find something old and traditional considering the relative "newness" of this focus on January 1st being the New Year. Still I went in search- the old fashioned way!!
Thinking to myself that perhaps I would find the right story if I let my "fingers do the walking," I went over to my bookcase of collections of traditional tales. Ran my fingers over the volumes I had perused so many times, finally lingering over "A Thorn in the King's Foot: Scottish Traveling Tales." I pulled out the book, closed my eyes and opened the book to the story "Auld Father Time and the Henwife" the only traditional New Year's tale I have seen before and since! In it Father Time grows younger and younger till at last he is a baby! Truly a New Year's story with the archetypes we associate with the New Year. The old man and the baby.

Carl Jung said, "The greatest number of spontaneous synchronistic phenomena I have observed have a direct connection with an archetype."

See related previous post on "Soul and Old Wooden Spoons"

Soul and Old Wooden Spoons

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