Story Evolution (OM Tiimes 12/21/12 Edition)

Any story is a wonderful enterprise. If it were not, we might give doubt to our very existence. Being able to “tell” a story--well, we could say that is something we humans do best. At the very least, as a form of entertainment, we tell stories with great regularity. Almost all of us do manage, in some way, to tell a bit of our story to others. What are we saying, exactly?

All of us have the ability to convey a message. For some of us, it feels effortless to have the eloquence to tell a good story well. It does not need to be an elaborate oration; often, simply keeping the facts straight can be difficult enough. This one facet alone is what makes history such an intriguing subject to study.

Our vocal energy gets involved with storytelling, whether we speak or sing. For many centuries, bards and certain tribal members were cherished for their skills in relaying past accomplishments in oral traditions of storytelling, verse and song. If any of us today get tired of hearing our parents or grandparents tell us about ‘how it used to be when they were young,’ we can appreciate what the orators and singers of old would go through.

Storytellers keep people mindful of where they have called home. By remembering a shared heritage of legends and people long gone, we relive those deeds in a respectful remembrance. Perhaps, more than any other form, storytelling served to mark humanity’s journey from past to present at a time when there was little else to keep us occupied at night.

It was a mutual experience of reflection. Those gathered could relate by hearing the tale and feeling a part of what happened. Perhaps, in recounting the tales, they would connect with parts of the past that lay deep within themselves, taking pride in tracing their human story to where they were at the time. Stories are a way of sharing what makes us human by giving a genuine look into the local history. As storytellers passed on, much of the stories they shared went away along with them, as part of nature’s own way of change.

When we think of our heritage and stories today, what comes to mind most readily? Unless your family is one of the few who regularly gathers to keep its story going, we might find commonality among things that feed our soul. Whether it is a heritage of food or recipes, anecdotes of loved ones, or the journey that brought us from one place to another taking culture along for the ride, as much as modern technology connects us these days, there may be very little attention or care given to how our human story progresses.

As people have evolved from the oral traditions of our past, the story has surely changed as well. We have grown so much fonder of the written word as a means by which to live our lives. If we tell people something, it does not seem to carry as much weight as when we write it down in a book somewhere. We look for “proof” in the writing, perhaps, because our oral traditions lack that same evidentiary track.

We look to evolution as a means of progression, of change, of what we might expect based on our past record. The multitude of photographic, cinematic, and transcribed records of our thoughts, words and deeds, are together in such a vast array of physical matter. In recent years, we scan and digitize our most sensitive and cumbersome documents in order to preserve them and make them available to an increasing audience.

As we consider the physical size of our human “library” these days, it is astounding. Yet, all of this record is but a short period of time in the entire human story. A static keepsake of our energies waits for our selective interaction. For whatever reason, we feel a need to hold onto things with greater urgency.

As we reach the pivotal date of December 21, 2012, we must ask ourselves some pointed questions. How does holding on to the past evolve our plot and move our story forward? Where does the editing come in?

We see what certain people would like us to save--whether it is good or bad. Often, we are surprised to know “the story behind the story.” That may get lost when what is left is the ‘evidence’ left behind. We see it is true today as we uncover hard proof of what life was like many years ago. We find that the physical evidence does not always align with our impressions. Stories do not often agree.

Rather than enjoying great progress or natural leaps forward in our human story, a number of us alive today have stifled or frustrated feelings and emotions. Challenges of autism, mutism, or dysphasia, leave us unable to adequately understand or convey a story or express our needs without assistance. We sit stagnant before electric lights and preconceived programs that tell us how to be, what to think, and where to go. We may ask whether this is any way to create the next chapter of our human story.

While we have many channels of entertainment and diversion readily available to enjoy, many of us question how this entertainment adds to our life experience. We find a need to learn continues--that we must feed our curiosity in much the very same way as our ancestors. Do we enrich life by distraction or through structured remembrance?

We no longer enjoy the interplay of silence and sound that once filled the pages of our natural, human storybook. We access a vast library through contrived means, online, instead of one that we can bring forth genuinely, from our being, with any sense of artistry and accuracy.

The archaic balance of silence and sound is what gave harmony to our human family. We think it is great to play instruments or sing--to raise a vibration that is more than what we are as one, individual person. That personal skill is elevated when musicians or storytellers get together and work as a cohesive group.

As we consider what it means to be able to exist in peace freely, such things as schedules, permissions, licenses, and other such allowances often accompany the way we are able to share our story these days. The “granting” of these “rights” can limit our self-expression in ways that keep us from fully showing what makes us who we are. Being able to share and communicate freely is as true for the story material we generate as it is for the other commodities of our respective cultures.

Over modern times, we notice, increasingly, the manipulation of change, as opposed to seeking out our own natural evolution. In the telling of our story, there could well be another blip of time missing from our string of what gets handed down to future generations. We may lament the day when we cannot recall all that took place--in quite the same way we are at a loss to know very much about our ancient ancestors today.

Being online does allow us to share a lot, even those aspects of us we may consider objectifying, offensive or degrading. We recognize the value of gathering together in one place, even though many of us live far apart from each other. We see that people on the other side of the planet share many of our same concerns, hopes, and dreams. Our perception broadens, yet our concerns remain local. The challenge is the same as it has always been. How do we move humanity toward taking our next steps as best we can; hopefully, leaving the world a better place than it was before we arrived?

Some of us feel it is important to have a good record of our human history. We do not want to omit significant portions of our past, because what brings us to where we are is important. Others feel that not remembering is a blessing. We might do best to put much of the pain and strife associated with change behind us. Either way, we will need to keep our story straight, although our path may be bumpy and crooked as our time wave hits zero, resets, and another cycle of time spirals around.

Namaste ~ Blessings!

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Comment by Kathy Custren on October 14, 2012 at 11:24am

Thank you, Dawn!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend ~ Blessings!

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