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The Power of Stories

The Power of Stories

Tammy January 5, 2010 3 comments

Hidden Caves wall sculpture $800, Tammy Vitale

“Hidden Caves hold answers to the Moon’s question: “You are Who?”

That is a snippet from a poem my daughter wrote in college – possibly the best thing she ever wrote (she’s a dancer, not a writer).  Her classmates loved it, her instructor?  not so much.  It was the only time she asked me to go after an instructor.  Instead, I have the poem in with my own poetry and I use it for inspiration all the time.

Here it is (and I will note that she said:  “Ma, don’t try to analyze this too much.”  You know that she knows me!). 

discoverature by Jessie Vitale

sand sloughs dead skin cells that cake

over true identities.

time requests masks for safety

measure against a world.

hidden secrets, deceiving lies of complete

control at all cost demand upkeep.

unconventional interests in unaccepting circles

force individuals into silence.

smiles on lips require constant

practice in unpolished mirrors.

search deep within; concealed caved hold

answers to the moon’s questions “you are who?”

When I created “Hidden Caves,” the torso pictured above, I knew the story energy it would bring forth into the world!

Hidden Caves detail

I still think there is more of a story to the writing of this poem, but I guess I’ll never know (it was written a good 15 years or more ago).

Which got me to thinking about the power of stories.

What happens when a story is never told, or is told not more?

Where do the words go?  Is that what we hear when we gather in fire circles and watch the flames – the sound we have always thought was just the wind playing in the leaves?  Or are the words that the child hears when she holds a seashell to her ear – not the ocean at all, but words which have no home.

What happens to the energy that the telling creates? Does it drift off into the Universe and join the comets or the cosmic dust?  or does it settle in corners – become what we sweep away when we clean house?

Every one of us has stories.  Not just one, but many.  Sometimes, after a while the story we tell to ourself or to others changes – is it because we have learned a new truth?  Or because we want to hide an old lie?  Or do stories grow and change just like people – no more static than the water in a river moving toward the sea.

Every one of us has stories.  If we do not find a way to dance or sing or write or paint or sculpt or create this story in whatever way we create, then all those who might have heard the words have lost something dear.  The story becomes the shiver that passes over one standing in the hot sun listening for something lost that she cannot name.

What stories are you telling yourself and others?  Do they serve you or do you need to reconsider them?  Are they full of healing energies?  Are the stories you tell yourself when you look in the mirror full of love and compassion for the human be-ing that you are in all your glorious imperfection?  When you talk to yourself, are you nice?  Do you treat yourself as you would your own best friend?

This year resolve to share at least one of your stories in some fashion.  You never know the gift you are loosing into the world!

Wylde Women’s Wisdom: Let me tell you a story.  For all I have is a story…whoever understands it also understands that a story, as distressing as it can be in its joy, never takes anything away from anybody…The story depends upon every one of us to come into being.  It needs us all, needs our remembering, understanding, and creating what we have heard together to keep on coming into being. Trinh T Minh-ha, Woman, Native, Other

In Category : Art and Life


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