Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Wednesday Festival: Telling Stories
The New Year is well under way and, more importantly, so is the third season of Downton Abbey, which means that many of us are now re-immersed in the narrative of the upstairs Crawley clan and its downstairs counterpart. My own Facebook comment in response to last Sunday's episode was that it was difficult for me to absorb the reality that after nearly an entire generation of young men had perished, it was still possible that the topic of dinner shirts could create such kerfluffles ( a word which entered my vocabulary via RevGal Jody). But ~ both the profound and the mundane (er . . . silly) are part of the human narrative, aren't they? And so this week's Festival focuses on blog posts that take up the matter of narrative. Not that we are ever mundane!
Although I am, like all of us, someone who tells and re-tells stories for a living, I nevertheless frequently neglect opportunities to connect with those closest to me through the narratives of our ordinary lives. Jo(e) in Writing As tells a story about telling our stories ~ about telling our daily stories to one another ~ about creating a ritual that ensures we do so.
How do we tell our stories to God? In Spacious Faith, Joanna writes about her experience with colored pencil prayer, and links to a book she's written that's filled with creative possibilities for prayer. I've often heard that prayer tops the list of topics which congregants hope we will address with them, and as a spiritual director, I know that we often need new ideas to un-stick our prayer practices. This one looks like a gem.
Do the people in the pews get to share their stories, too? What a great example Amy sets for us in Talk with the Preacher as she posts the reflections presented by four people in her church on their Advent Conspiracy experiences of "Doing Christmas Differently."
Perhaps story comes to you most profoundly through music and poetry. In los tres reyes, Milton Brasher-Cunningham of Don't Eat Alone brings two poems and two songs about the magi to our attention (and we know that while Epiphany Sunday is now behind us, the journey has only just begun)(oops ~ that's another song). I'm really glad to be provided with the link to the James Taylor piece, with which I was unfamiliar but which I've seen referenced several times this past week .
And finally, thanks to Clara Jane's daughter, in God's Perfect Timing we're offered a taste of oral story-telling (with a video!) and the opportunity to meet the Ethiopian tooth fairy, as well as an opportunity to encounter the joys of adopting older children, who bring their own stories and cultures into ours.
Enjoy your story time today with all of these wonderful tales! (Now, if we could just acquire those hats . . . ).