I will tell you something about stories,
They aren't just for entertainment.
Don't be fooled
They are all we have, you see,
all we have to fight off illness and death.
You don't have anything
if you don't have the stories.
-From Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Ceremony
This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in a three day art and story making workshop with Mary Lounsbury, the founder of Mythos-Sphere, which brings people together to share the joy of creative expression in community. Held on the beautiful grounds of Warren Wilson College, workshop participants wrote, drew and explored inner archetypal characters and stories, all while dipping in and out of the spring woods and gardens that surround the campus.
It was a lovely chance to drop into a world of myth and meaning, play, reflection and renewal. To let some of our deep stories, the ones we don't even realize that we are carrying, bubble up. To investigate their meaning, in community.
So what does this have to do with digital storytelling? A few things I think. All artists have to take the time to fill the well, to rediscover and be excited about their own creativity again, so workshops like these are soul-filling. And then there are the stories. I don't think we truly appreciate all the ways that stories instruct our lives. I am inspired by the stories of hope I hear, haunted by stories of tragic failings, challenged by stories of truth. What a gift it is to take three days off and pay attention to the characters and patterns of stories - to bow to the heroes, the so-called villains, the tricksters and shape shifters. To recognize them in my own life and in the stories told by others. So it doesn't matter if the story appears in a film, a play, or a book. Because a good story is like a map. It takes you from one place to another and prepares you for the journey.