Telling your story is more valuable than you may realize. The students in your care, your family, YOU – need to hear your stories. NOT as you were then, but as you are now! That is important. Why? Well, telling the stories that make up the tapestry of your life from where you are now is an opportunity to update and imbue the story weave of your life with your current values, appreciations and understandings.
It also adds to the greater weave of the human story, giving context and meaning to your journey so far. We are so much more than the world reduces us to. Your story is proof!
Speaking of story weaves – many, many moons ago, en route to the Yucatan peninsula; I stayed with a Zapotec Indian village in Oaxaca, Mexico. The people there were weavers, much like the Chimayo villages of New Mexico – raising sheep for wool, processing the wool, using natural dyes derived from plants and minerals, spinning yarn… a beautiful way of life actually.
Every household had their family loom, usually stationed in the front room of their two or three room mud thatch dwellings. The loom, as I found out, was much more to them than a machine.
As is true of many indigenous folk around the world, their oral tradition/story lineage is the ‘weave’ which holds them intact. So it was with the Zapotecans, in their way:
Their mechanical looms were literally designated a sacred function and the yarn they spun held undisputed magical properties. The patterns and colors woven were chosen according to the story contained in the weave.
Their stories, to them, literally lived inside the things they wove.
The old couple I stayed with were curiously intrigued by the Jerusalem Cross I used to wear around my neck, tied with a leather shoe lace. After just a few days being there, they started weaving a poncho for me with this cross as a central motif in the design. I was really moved by the whole thing, and wanted to reciprocate somehow, give something in return.
When I offered money for it, they refused saying I had already given them a special gift! Bewildered, I asked them what it was I had given them? The beautiful old couple just smiled and kept on working into the night.
When this poncho was done, it was luminous! They presented it to me as a parting gift and finally told me what I had given them:
“On the first night you came, you told us your story. You didn’t know us. We were complete strangers, and yet you told us your whole story. That is a sacred gift. This poncho is the least we can give you in return!”
Tell your story. You never know what may happen!