New Language

July 25, 2007

curly rose

When I imagine what I would like to explore at the Story Field conference next month many thoughts crowd their way to the surface; I’ll share one, to start.

I notice I am longing for a new language with which to tell my story and invite the stories of others … a language of the senses that evokes an visceral experience as our tales unveil themselves.

In one context this means I’m looking for a language that can ground internet discourse in the natural world. An earthy medium of exchange ala David Abram that draws on the ‘matter’ of our bodies and the world as we experience it directly through our senses. A language that will remind us of the ground beneath our feet, maybe even help us feel the grass between our toes and smell the faint sweetness of the air as we commune with each other in our ‘connected’ freedom from geographic boundaries and gross societal bias.

In another context it means helping my colleagues in the World Café global network find new ways to share their stories – illustrating where, how and with whom this wonderful conversational process is being used throughout the world. I want to co-evolve a language or format that covers our academic needs for analytic rigor but goes beyond that to impart a sense of the spirit in the room and the magic that arises in the middle of the conversation; a language that can impart the passions and dreams of the people that have gathered to listen to themselves and each other.

In still another context I am looking for the syntax and grammar of a language capable of weaving together the multi-media of my own story. I want to share my viewfinder and initiate others into the mysteries I intuit within sound and motion, image and word. I want to sound the poetic drumbeat and call the muse of rhythm to attend my utterances, to illuminate the soundless silence of world-wise eyes staring back naked, I want to carry my listeners into new worlds on waves of light and sound.

All this longing … the search for new forms; I suspect it goes far beyond my personal quest, and hope that I will meet many fellow seekers and co-creators of this new language at the Story Field gathering.

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What do we mean by "storyteller" here?

March 8, 2007

I pulled together several of my emails exploring who might come to this conference and edited it into an article called Who is a ‘Storyteller’ — and why such a Conference for them?. I hope it clarifies the wild variety of people we’re inviting, and perhaps opens up an inquiry about a new interdisciplinary “field of study and practice” or a new view of whole-system activism based on story….

Sheri Herndon sent some of us a riff along these lines recently, describing a conversation with friends: “[We asked] ourselves what are the ways in which we are all storytellers, storycatchers, and story keepers. and perhaps what are the roles each of us plays in creating, maintaining, enriching, evolving and enlarging the story field. i see these different ways of accessing and participating in the story field as important. these are story field capacities…what capacities are needed for telling a new story?”

Storytellers, storycatchers, storykeepers, storyspreaders, storyinviters, storyexpanders, storychannelers, storybelievers….

And then there are the destoryers…. (and the destoruction?)