A Touch of Love – A Taste of Life


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Life Living Moments – Living Life Memories

The Inuit Folktale, Two Friends, adapted and retold by Storyteller Grace Wolbrink

Starting off in life. Ohhh . . . the point of a finger . . . ahh . . . each one sparks with twinkling eyes . . . outstretched hands . . .  reassuring hugs . . . gentle kisses . . . sticky fingers . . . A touch of love – A taste of life.

Growing up . . . mud puddles, snail races, skinned knees, awkward moments stuck in trees . . . Oh no, your Mom found out too?  Two friends, their weddings united, they now stand; one facing east, the other facing west. Their life dreams securely planned during a time when people still filled the earth and the spirit of adventure still filled the land.

On the eve of daylight, with a musk-ox head between their hands, each friend made a cup. One cup fashioned from each horn on the same ox’s head. Goodbyes are said, not knowing when, but knowing that, someday, they too will meet again.

Traveling close to the land the two friends, in two separate directions, set out to travel the world. Being that the world is a very large place to travel and takes quite a bit of time. The two friends got older, each had children, their children had children, and their children’s children had children. The day came, on the eve of life’s twilight, the two friends, now carried by their children; meet face to face once again. Life living moments – living life memories.

According to the American Society on Aging, nearly 1 in 4 US households are caring for someone over the age of 50. Out of these households approximately 40% of these care givers are raising children and 64% are working either full-time or part-time. Care giving, caregivers, lives, coupled with life’s commitment. Yet, in the words of Pablo Casals, a world-famous cellist . . . “the capacity to care is the thing which gives live its deepest significance.”

In developing this story I found myself deeply challenged by the words of caregiver, Barbara Bernard caring for her parents, each diagnosed with a terminal illness within a week of each other. Barbra spoke about her commitment to, each day, finding ways to create memories for herself and her parents. Through creating these memories Barbra focused on life and the aspects of life that continued to bring joy to her Mother and Father. Watching the sunset while sipping coffee, feeling the fresh drops of summer rains, feeling the soft sensations of bunnies fur against one’s skin, smelling the aroma of fresh flowers or enjoying a favorite, off-season, holiday treat.  “I am hopeful that whoever will be caring for me finds ways to help me seize moments in every day and create answers to the question, “What was your favorite part of the day?” (Barbara Bernard) A touch of love – A taste of life.

“The world is magnificent!” cried the two friends.

Meeting again, on the eve of life’s twilight, the two friends shared their adventures, recounted their dreams and compared the remains of their drinking horns. Yes, remains, for over the years, scratches from each friend’s cup stayed among the rocks in the streams – the place where each friend had stopped to fill their cup with water and where each one had scraped it along the river’s bottom.

They started out when they were young without children, meet again when they were old, carried by their children. Each friend now sitting side by side with one’s back to the east, the other’s to the west, they mummer, “Truly the world is magnificent.”

All rights reserved September 2010.

 

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographers Journey Begin!

 

A Wooden Seat


A horse-drawn hearse’s wooden seat, horse hair falling though the frame, memories flooding my mind, I stopped by the funeral home. My Father’s former horse-drawn hearse now resides there, I stood holding the remaining part as said my good-byes to it and the memories – some of the stories that defined our lives growing up. Public reactions to two young children peering out in the area where coffin’s are carried, clopping along down public streets. Hooped skirts, tall top hats and black formal suits appeared as griever and driver fall in parade route lines. Stories, memories, the very things that add meaning and define the meaning of our lives.

Standing in the waiting room, I spoke with a woman about her life and life living memories. She talked about the care packages of cookies and bread, that at age 40 she still receives from her 92 year old grandmother. The care packages that she herself now sends to a friend and her family, due to unforeseen circumstances, is stranded, with out friends or family in a country not their own. Now further carrying on the tradition of care packages, she is adding a recent high school graduate, off to collage, his first time away from home as the next recipient of memory, story laden care packages.

Until next time . . . Let a Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

Down the Rabbit Hole – An Endless List of Possibly Impossible Things


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I absolutely love Timothy Buron’s Film production of Alice in Wonderland.

OK, let’s face it, the book is great. The movie is great. The movie about the book is great. The story is great. The characters are great. OK, it’s all great.

The entire intrigue of the story is being dumped down a rabbit’s hole. The finding yourself living in a serial world of talking creatures, drama queens and non-sensical characters.

Spinning into the major turning point of the story, Alice triumphantly meets the insanely crazy challenges of rabbit hole living. Changing her physical size, outwitting insane advocacies and organizing life-threating getaways.

Then it happens. Alice’s worst fear appears as a Jaberwalki. A gigantic, winged, creature with teeth half the size of her physical being.

She’s been told, she has to kill the Jaberwalki if she wants to go home. Through the encouragement of the Mad Hatter, Alice remembers her father’s words;  “6 impossible things before breakfast”.

Looking at the day, she realizes she’s already done 5 impossible things before breakfast. She fell down a and insanely large rabbit hole and lived. She ate pastry mix that made her grow instantly grow larger and smaller and lived. She discovered the key to the tiny room and go through; and lived …  She lists them off until she reaches the number 6 – killing a Jaberwalki.

Courageously, she raises her sword. During a daring claw to sword combat, she realizes its kill or be eaten. Not wanting to become someone else’s dinner, she stabs and kills the Jaberwalkie.

Collecting Jaberwalkie’s blood, she says her good-byes. Holding a vile of Jaberwalke’s blood, she spirals up the rabbit hole and returns home.

In the movie, returning home means meeting the social and financial pressures of a forced marriage proposal.

Dusty and dirty, yet filled with new found confidence, courage and determination Alice courageously says no to a marriage proposal from a man she never loved and a man who never loved her.

Seeing the confidence, vision and raw courage of this amazing young woman, her almost father-in-law forms a business partnership with her. He then adds a side note stating if her ideas had come from anyone else, he would have said no to them.

Alice’s story changed when she changed.

So what is number six on your list of impossible things to be accomplished before breakfast? Now here is a great story to tell!

Until next time . . . Let Your  Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

Tiger – A Goat’s Identity Crisis


TigerIt happened, one of those strange tragic moments in life’s predator vs. prey cycle. A tiger, as hungry as she was filled with child. Spotting a herd of goats grazing in the distance she smells food. Capitalizing on a tiny grain of strength, she waits. She watches. She runs. She pounces. She collapses.

Terrified goats scatter in the direction they were grazing. Lying on the ground, the lioness heaves her last breath. With it she gives birth to her cub. In uncertain silence, her lifeless body lies, no longer a threat or a danger to the prey around her.

Knowing the fields are now safe, the goats return to their grazing land. Upon their return, they discover a larger than average, newly born stranger in their midst. Being community oriented and parental-ly inclined, the goats take it in. Together they raise this stripped, hornless creäture.

A few years later, another larger animal stalks the herd. Pouncing, the goats once again scatter in all direction they were grazing. Yes, the goats, not the tiger, for the tiger remains undisturbed, quietly munching on clumps of grass. The larger animal taking full responsibility for his herd scattering endeavors, introduces himself as tiger.

“A vegetarian,” bleats a reply from the other tiger embodied creäture.”

“Embarrassing,” roars the Tiger, watching the awkward slobbering and dirt spitting grazing habits of this misguided carnivore.

Perplexed and stunned, the Tiger turns to the grass feeding one and requests a brief conference at the water’s edge. It is agreed.

The Tiger looks at the grass-eating one, “You too are Tiger.

This grass eater pauses, uncertain on how to respond. Tiger takes its face and positions it over the unwavering, un-shimmering depths of water’s pure reflection. Then too he places his face next to the grass eater’s reflection.

Stunned, the grass eater has to admit that he looks nothing like the animals he surrounds himself with . Too, that while he resembles Tiger in stripes and fur, he does not have the same fullness of shape, development of muscles or vibrancy of color or language that Tiger possesses.

Tiger then takes the grass eater home with him. Entering his den, oozing with the freshness of today’s catch, he rips out a chunk of blood dripping flesh and shoves it into grass eater’s mouth.

Choking and sputtering, the grass eater bleats out, “But I am a vegetarian!”

No cries Tiger, you are a Tiger”

Still choking and sputtering as the richness of the meat’s abundance enters his body, grass eater begins to step into his true being. The new food seemingly to giving him a strength and a health he has not known until now. Using all the strength and courage within his being, the once fleeting bleat, sounds much more like a mini roar.

Thank you Joseph Campbell!

“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” Unknown

 

Until next time . . . Let your Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

Happy Shirt – A King’s Quest


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An Italian folktale as adapted, retold and written by Storyteller Grace Wolbrink

Nearly sleepless nights followed nearly sleepless days. Hour after hour the king aimlessly paces palace floors. Not knowing what to do or where to go. What went wrong? What could he have done differently? Whose fault is it? Why doesn’t anyone know? So many unanswered questions swarm his mind.

In-ranged and outraged, steeped in life-sucking concern, agony and despair, the king watches. The king waits. His son, the prince, sleeps in late. Sits around the palace aimlessly staring through non-plate glassed windows. Refusing to leave the palace, one trance filled day follows another.

What is a king to do? It isn’t like he doesn’t have a kingdom full of advisers, what to be advisers and royal figure heads. Yet none are able to offer anything but aimless, non-effectual advice, while his precious son sleeps away the prime of his young adult life.

Something has to be done – but what? How?

The King sends word, calling together the wisest of the wise counsels throughout the land. Gathering them together he too provides them with a generous allotment of privatized pacing space. Here the wisest of the wise pace, murmur and ah hum. Following many restless hours, countless days and hole ridden heels, a decision is made.

“Go out into the world and bring back the shirt of someone who is truly happy. Take this shirt and put it on your son and he too will be truly happy,” proclaim the wisest of wise.

“That’s it! That’s all!” cries the king triumphantly!
“Yes,” they solemnly reply.

Promptly dismissing the wisest of the wise counsel members and disposing of his vast collection of self-helping reference books, the King gathers together his most trusted royal advisers. Calculating the approximate number of happy people in his kingdom, his neighbor’s kingdoms and his neighbor’s neighbor’s kingdoms; he figures his royal advisers will bring back enough shirts for his son to wear every day of the year.

Sending them off, the king anxiously anticipates their return.

Pah-pa-rah! Pah-pa-rah!
Pah-pa-rah! Pah-pa-rah!

Sound the royal trumpets.

With the sound of each trumpet, royal adviser after royal adviser arrived at the palace.

“My shirts! Where are my shirts!” cries the king.

“Well . . . hum . . .” stammer the royal advisers.

“Well what?” demands the king.

“Did you mean happy, as in truly happy?” inquire the royal advisers.

“Of course! What other kind of happy is there!” quips the king.

“OK,” reply the royal advisers.

Continuing on, one by one they tell the stories of their adventures and the people they met.

“Yes! Yes of course. Well almost, my parents really want me to become a Doctor. I feel so guilty . . . but . . . ” says a tradesman.

“Yes! Yes of course. Well almost, my boss would not give me that promotion I really deserved. He gave it to . . . They did not work as hard as I . . .” says a gardener.

“Yes! Yes of course. Well almost, we had to pass up our dream home because we could not afford it. It was all because of the economy. If my boss had given me that raise, then we could have . . .” says an administrator.

“Yes! Yes of course. Well almost, I didn’t get very good grades in school, so I can’t do what I really want to do with my life. My parents were right, it’s only the people who go to the good schools and get a good education that get a good job,” says an unemployed scholar.

“Yes! Yes of course. Well almost, I’d be a lot more successful in life if it wasn’t for my parents and my ex-husband. You know my parents, they just did give ma change in life. If they had been like my best friend’s parents, I would have turned out like the kids in their family,” says a farmer.

The list continued  without a shirt.

“Is there not one single happy person in this entire Kingdom or any other kingdom?” fumes the King. “Obviously I have mistakenly sent mere men to do the job of a king.

The next morning the King arrives in a small town. He asks an older man if he is happy. As if is he really, honestly, truly happy.”

“Yes, of course I am happy, why do you ask?” questions the old man.

“So you have all the money you need,” prods the king.

“Sadly know. If I could be like you with all the money in the world, then I would be truly happy,” replies the old man.

Thanking him for his time, the king continues on.

Figuring a happy person was a happy person and a happy shirt was a happy shirt, the king stopped a young woman along side the road.

“Are you happy, as in honestly, truly happy?” inquires the king.

“Of course, I am truly happy,” she replies.

Noting she is without a wedding ring and childless, the king asks, “Wouldn’t you like to have to be married and have a family someday?

Her eyes fill with tears. “Yes! Oh yes,” she cries. Then I would be really happy. I would be really happy. My whole life I have wonted nothing more than to be a wife and a mother.”

Thanking her for her time, he continues on his way. Walking along he meets person after person. Listening to story after story, they are always the same.

“Yes, if only . . .”

“Yes, when I get . . . ”

“Yes, someday I will be . . .”

Feeling faint from hunger and loosing all hope, the King pulls out his bow. Seeing a small rabbit, he aims. He fires. He misses. Well, nearly misses. It looks as if the arrow may have injured its right leg. Following the injured animal, he finds himself in a part of the Kingdom that he has not seen before. Looking out into the distance he sees a young man, wearing a simple coat, working in the field.

Seeing the smile streaming across his face, the king brightens.

“Hey you! Young man!” cries the King.

The Young Man stops. He turns. He looks up.

“Your majesty,” he replies.

“Young Man, are you happy? As in are you really, honestly, truly happy?” asks the King.

An even bigger smile flashes across his face. “Yes I am really happy,” the young man replies. His smile broadening. His face brightening as he spoke.

Cautiously, the King continues. “Yes, but wouldn’t you want to be a King someday and live in a palace ruling this fine land?”

“Me? Why? I love doing what I am doing. Getting stuffed in some glorified stone caveron is not on my list of most love to do life experiences.”

Ignoring the last part of his comment, the King continues. “OK, I get it. You’r happy right now. So what is your secrete to being happy?

“That is easy!”replies the young man.  Every morning, I get up and greet the day. Then I ask myself, “How many times will I laugh today? At night, before I go to sleep, I count how many times I laughed during the day. Then I laugh again because I remember all the things I laughed about during the day.”

“Interesting,” mutters the king.

Hearing the genuineness of his words and the experiencing joy in his heart, the King races over to the young man. Grabbing his coat, the king reaching inside. A look of uncertainty crosses his face. Again the king takes his hand and thrusts it inside the young man’s coat.

“Your shirt! Where’s your shirt? cries the king.

“In my closet,” replies the young man.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

The Hero’s Journey


I love the Hero’s Journey! Filled with the fascination of a new adventure, a new life path – one never before entered, traveled or contemplated! Yes, the Hero’s Journey, filled with its victory enhancing obstacles,  those moments of seeming uncertainty and the triumphal celebration at Journey’s end. The Hero’s Journey filled with unseen helpers, the prevailing force winds that make us as kits fly higher than ever expected, and the personal transformation that happens from beginning to end. Life at the end never even being close to that at the beginning.

What new step on life’s next journey are you ready to take? What adventures, dream or goal is springing up inside, calling out to you, beckoning you to embark on this next life changing course in your precious life’s journey?

Climbing higher than Stand Cow Dividends!

The Hero’s Adventure, taking the risk of “falling forward” through the uncertain outcomes of the experiments that lie ahead. Believing in the unseen helps that lovingly join you on this magnificent journey. A Journey, once started, that will end in an life exhilarating, life enhancing destination!

“I will do today what others won’t, so I can live tomorrow like others can’t.” Unknown

When life gives you a cow – It’s makes me think about a choice: standard market value vs cloud top dividends. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to dust off those magic beans and experience the wonder, adventure and life’s golden treasures stemming from a one of a kind, top of the stalk, life living journey! Now there is a story to tell!

Until next time . . . Let a Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

New Road – 5 Chapters in Life


FutureI heard this incredible story in a presentation from Dr. Wayne Dyer, wishing that I remembered the author, but honored to have heard it.

At a seminar, participants were asked to write five chapters of their life on five separate 5 X 7 index cards. This woman’s story went approximately as follows:

Chapter 1

I walked down the road, never saw what was coming and fell into a hole. I was angry, bitter and blaming. It took me a long time to get out.

Chapter 2

I walked down the road, I a saw the hole, I fell in. I was angry. How could anyone leave a whole this size here? How come they did not fix it? Why don’t they have it blocked off  . . . It took me a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walked down the road, I saw the hole and I fell in any way. This time I knew it was of my making. This time it took very little time for me to get out.

Chapter 4

I walked down the road. I saw the hole. This time I walked around the hole and continued on down the road.

Chapter 5

I walked down a new road.

What an awesome story to tell!

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin!