if a story is a seed…

If a story is a seed, then we are its soil. Just hearing the story allows us to experience it as though we ourselves were the heroine who either falters or wins in the end. If we hear a story about a wolf, then afterward we rove about and know like a wolf for a time. If we hear a story about a dove finding her young at last, then for a time after, something moves behind our own feathered breasts. If it be a story of wresting the sacred pearl from beneath the claw of the ninth dragon, we feel exhausted afterward, and satisfied. In a very real way, we are imprinted with knowing just listening to the tale. -Clarissa Pinkola Estes


2 Comments to “if a story is a seed…”

  1. This is so beautiful! I am so moved by this idea of imprinting. And I feel that the stories we surround ourselves with and the ones we choose to tell and share with others are the stories that then create us from within. Kind of an alchemical process whereby we become our stories. This inspires me to tell the good, the deep, and the truthful stories that are within me.

    I just this morning read in Gail Larsen’s “Transformational Speaking” an amazing story Jane Goodall tells of being at a scientific meeting where people who looked at wildlife as something only to be managed gathered to discuss whale behavior. A respected scientist showed for the first time film footage from an expedition where they came across the dead body of a large humpback. As two divers swam toward the huge carcass, another male humpback did what a mother whale does for its newborn to get it to take its first breath. He repeatedly brought the huge body up to the surface and held it there for a while and then let it sink down. “At last after half an hour of this effort he circled and swam to the dead male again,” Jane reported. ‘This time, he opened his huge pectoral fins and he simply embraced the huge, dead body. And stayed this way for about four hours.”

    Jane went on to say, “people in the room began analyzing and giving academic explanations for the whale’s behavior. Finally the scientist who had filmed it said, ‘I don’t understand it, but I have entitled my video; No Greater Love.’

    “Then everybody cried,” Goddall said. “Things are changing. It’s happening. And we can do it not by yelling but by telling stories, by opening [our] hearts.”

    Thank you Sharon, Clarissa and Jane – for showing us the importance not only of the stories we tell but the place from which we tell them.


  2. Beautiful! Yes, to tell the good, deep and truthful stories can imprint those who hear them. And then, you can never be the same. What an amazing story about the whales. It is happening,, and telling stories is making it so. x

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