Saturday, April 5, 2008

Core values and process 3: The thing about Stories

[ This post is in stages. Check the previous ones for beginning. It elucidates "what" the project is and will be concentrated later]

The project has specific aim:

If we are thinking about the power of stories, myths, and dreams of the dreamer, if we are thinking about all the books we have ever read, all the stories we have ever been told, all the news articles we've ever been intrigued by, and how they've affected us at different times and in different ways
then we can question and ask ourselves.. perhaps..

How does a story work?
Does anyone know?
Why does a story work?
How does a story effect us?
When someone told us a story when we were children or after as we grew how did it and
why did it make us feel a certain way? Did it help us grow? I think they did.
How do stories effect us now?

There are so many answers to this one question of a story and why they do things to us, how they help us.

It seems we all perhaps believe in stories.. even if we don't know we do.
We all listen when someone speaks to us...maybe.
Some of us like to watch the news. Some of us don't.
Some of us listen to song lyrics and remember them.
Some of us like to make song lyrics.
It seems we all like a good story.

Why do stories have power? why do books have power? why do images which tell stories too have power? It seems like stories could be one of those things not to even believe in...
I mean they're kind of ephemeral...And sometimes people don't like to believe in things that are ephemeral, that seem not quite so real.. you know? It's true. Sometimes it's easier to accept what's right before you as the ultimate state of things.

:And if I can add quickly sometimes there's a social stigma attached to believing in impossible things, or things that seem too "out there". Sometimes we don't want to believe in impossible things, because it takes courage and more than a little bit of leaving what seems like security.

But there's something unusual about stories. People accept them and often times allow them into their worlds, to change their worlds and their perceptions of their worlds.

While sometimes it takes a great stretch of imagination to think that one could believe in so-called impossibilities, somehow people will generally listen to a good story.

From where do stories derive their power? It seems to me a great many people these days are realizing the power of stories to support people, their lives, and if i shall go so far to say and i shall, change the world. The Memphis Public Library has just or is perhaps still in the midst of a program to get Memphians to "tell their stories." Story Corps, an independent non-profit whose mission is to "honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening." has been traveling around the country since 2003 and has interviewed tens of thousands of people and has partnered with NPR and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

What is it about stories? They aren't necessarily food and they aren't shelter, but they do things to us. Don't they?

They feed our lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment