While everyone else was asleep at 4 a.m. this morning, I was dreaming about stories, all the many stories we tell — the true ones and the truth tucked inside made-up stories — and how we tell about ourselves, our hopes and our fears, in our fantasies. Even the wildest fantasy contains our personal truths about how we feel the world is or should be or how we fear it to be.
In my classes, I tell a lot of 'teaching stories' and I know that wrapping a truth inside a fantasy is a way to get it across to others, especially when the 'fantasy' is true too, and people just assume it isn't because it doesn't fit with their view of the world. If you tell them that this is how the world is they are likely to go into denial (and maybe even get angry), but if it's 'just a story' they can listen. Some people get what you're saying best when it's wrapped in a story. Other get it best in a linear, logical dissertation. Some, a few, get it both ways, and they are the lucky ones because they see it in three (or possibly four) dimensions instead of just two.
The truth is a seed dropped hopefully on the ground or a penny that may just fall into the slot and make something might happen. A connection can be made. Eventually. One way or another.
The heart of a story can be hidden in jokes, in fables, in dream imagery. Our worlds, daytime and night, are aswirl with stories. We live them, we breathe them, we call them fantasies and say we don't believe them — and then often we act as if they are true.
We are not things. We are stories moving through time. Dream your stories well, my dear, because they are your heart.
Copyright © 2001 and 2013 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.