This week Awesome Stories brings you the power of storytelling, transforming education, and celebrating nature.
Listening to a storyteller is to take a trip into the land of the right brain where imagination, myth, past, and present coalesce. ~ Charlotte Du Cann
Martin Shaw talks about the power of good storytelling to unleash our imagination and free it from “colonization“. Colonization is his word for the enormous amount of information that we receive from mass media sources, much of which is programmed to turn us into better consumers and loyal subjects of the political and economic systems. In oral storytelling, we have to listen and participate, using our imagination to fill in many of the details of the story. A good story is a like a love affair, freeing our minds to remember what we truly love. Stories have the capacity to wake us up from our collective trance and interact with the living breathing world around us. He suggests that we figure out what we love, defend it, and develop the artfulness to bring it into the world as a living story.
Lang Elliott created this poetic tribute to nature. He found himself delighted with the sights and sounds of spring bubbling forth around him. Lang created this as a tribute to our beautiful regional treasure in Arkansas, The Buffalo River, the nation’s first official National River, set aside to protect and acknowledge the importance of rivers. Lang writes about how easy it is to find joy in nature during spring, “when the landscape comes alive with the songs of birds and frogs and we are surrounded by leaves unfolding and wildflowers blooming.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we continually celebrated nature, singing songs of joy and gratitude for her precious gifts that feed, nourish, and support us.
I’ve written about Parker Palmer many times. I’m inspired by his passion for transforming education and learning. His perspective is that education needs a total transformation based on integrating meaning, purpose, and spirituality into the classrooms. The desire for rational and fair education has cut us off from these deeper sources of truth. Most education is based on a deep rift between science and religion. I agree with his perspective that we need to bring them together, both within ourselves, the teachers, students, and core approach to education. He calls this integrating the inner and outer. This disconnect is also reflected in our obsession with economic growth that isn’t connected to something bigger, remembering and honoring our roles within the larger universe. As Lang reminds us in the article above, celebrating nature brings out our joy, connection, and gratitude for the abundant treasures of life.
May your week be full of imagination, integration, and celebration!