A Little More on The Power of Story

Christina Baldwin is one of the people that has most influenced my life over the last 25 years. In practice of circle. In practice of story. In friendship — over cups of tea. In guiding my writing. In mentoring. In witnessing. In being a good egg.

One of her books is Storycatcher, written in 2005. It’s brilliant. And timeless too.

One of the superpowers I’ve known in Christina is her ability to frame context. Most often to an invitation. Most often to a deeper layer of meaning and meaning-making. In Storycatcher she does all of this with skill, eloquence, heart, and the straight-forward language that I appreciate.

I was peeking at this book recently, reading what I’d underlined in my copy. Here’s a few of my underlines.

“How we make our experience into story
determines how we live our personal lives.”

“What we emphasize and retell in our collective story

determines whether we quarrel or collaborate in our community.”

“What we preserve in larger human story

determines what we believe is possible in the world.”

Good, right.

So many important questions with groups that can be drafted off of those statements alone. What do we believe possible in the world? What stories guide us that we have chosen? What stories guide us that we have not chosen? What is the story that we most wish to live into, now and into the future? What is the most simple narrative of purpose and principles that we wish to create and live together? What brings us alive? What is our gift to offer to the world? To ourselves?

And on it goes. Questions that are served so well by formats for listening and wondering together.

Further from Christina,

“Life hangs on a narrative thread.
This thread is a braid of stories that inform us about who we are,
and where we come from,
and where we might go.

The tread is slender but strong:
we trust it to hold us and allow us to swing over the edge of the known
into the future we dream in words.”

Who are we? Who do we choose to be? What are the hints we have about who we are and who we choose to be? What edges do we wish to swing over together? What future do we now wish to dream into being? What core story, or principles that come from experience, cohere our journey?

A bow to Christina and all the layers. A bow to the many of us leaning in to find and choose our own stories. A bow to the many of us finding ways to go together.

2 Replies to “A Little More on The Power of Story”

  1. Dear Tenneson friend, thank you for this tribute to story and to our long and lovely acquaintance! Our lives and work circle round each other in service and for that i am profoundly grateful. Love, Christina

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