Quotes for
the Journey:

Stories

   
  
The universe is made of
stories, not of atoms.

Muriel Rukeyser

   

A necessary part of our intelligence is on the line as the oral tradition becomes less and less important. There was a time throughout our land when it was common for stories to be told and retold, a most valuable exercise, for the story retold is the story reexamined over and over again at different levels of intellectual and emotional growth.      -Wes Jackson

   

We are lonesome animals.  We spend all of our life trying to be less lonesome.  One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say--and to feel--"Yes, that is the way it is, or at least that is the way I feel it."  You’re not as alone as you thought.     -John Steinbeck

   
Stories are how we learn. The progenitors of the world’s religions understood this, handing down our great myths and legends from generation to generation.     -Bill Mooney and David Holt
   
If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.     -Barry Lopez
    
One lesson we can learn from pre-industrial peoples is the power of storytelling. I am struck by how important storytelling is among tribal peoples; it forms the basis of their educational systems. The Celtic peoples, for example, insisted that only the poets could be teachers.  Why? I think it is because knowledge that is not passed through the heart is dangerous: it may lack wisdom; it may be a power trip; it may squelch life out of the learners. What if our educational systems were to insist that teachers be poets and storytellers and artists? What transformations would follow?     -Mathew Fox

    
Life rushes us along and few people are strong enough to stop on their own.  Most often, something unforeseen stops us and it is only then we have the time to take a seat at life’s kitchen table.  To know our own story and tell it.  To listen to other people’s stories.  To remember that the real world is made up of just such stories.  Until we stop ourselves or, more often, have been stopped, we hope to put certain of life’s events “behind us” and get on with our living.  After we stop we see that certain of life’s issues will be with us for as long as we live.  We will pass through them again and again, each time with a new story, each time with a greater understanding, until they become indistinguishable from our blessings and our wisdom.  It’s the way life teaches us how to live.     -Rachel Naomi Remen
   
The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.     -Harold Goddard
  
Stories come alive in the telling.  Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no existence in our world.  They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth.  Or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their muasic into being.  They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge.  Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change.  They could take root in the imagination and transform the reader.  Stories wanted to be read. They needed it.  It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours.  They wanted us to give them life.     -John Connolly
   
What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events affect us.     -Rabih Alameddine
   
There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.     -Ursula K. Le Guin
   
Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.     -Ben Okri
   
We owe it to each other to tell stories.     -Neil Gaiman
   
After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.     -Philip Pullman
   
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.     -Maya Angelou
   
Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.     -Madeleine L'Engle
  
As with any other great force of nature, there is both glory and danger in the stories we tell ourselves.  Some are toxic and keep our problems festering. Others are tonic and bring us beyond the limitations of our previous history.  To be in a life of our own definition, we must be able to discover which stories we are following and determine which ones help us grow the most interesting possibilities.     -Dawna Markova
   
When we haven't the time to listen to each other's stories we seek out experts to tell us how to live.  The less time we spend together at the kitchen table, the more how-to books appear in the stores and on our bookshelves.  But reading such books is a very different thing than listening to someone' s lived experience.  Because we have stopped listening to each other we may even have forgotten how to listen, stopped learning how to recognize meaning and fill ourselves from the ordinary events of our lives.  We have become solitary; readers and watchers rather than sharers and participants.     -Rachel Naomi Remen
   
A story must be told in such a way that it constitutes help in itself.  My grandfather was lame.  Once they asked him to tell a story about his teacher.  And he related how his teacher used to hop and dance while he prayed.  My grandfather rose as he spoke, and he was so swept away by his story that he began to hop and dance to show how the master had done.  From that hour he was cured of his lameness.  That's how to tell a story.      -Martin Buber
   
Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.     -Hannah Arendt
   
There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.     -Willa Cather
  

   
“You do have stories, Jason," he said. "We all have stories. The problem is that people your age never have been taught to tell them. How can they be taught, when their parents do not tell stories, either? The sad part is that one day you will have no stories to tell your children or your grandchildren, so they never will have the benefit of learning from your experiences. That is a shame.”     -tom walsh
  
I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work with them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.     -Clarissa Pinkola Estés
   
You, like every human being, are a storyteller by birthright.  You are born with an endless supply of personal and universal themes.  It is important to open yourself to receive the vast wealth of imagery that lives within you.  Build a hearth within you and let it become a circle of protection.  In it your heart's wisdom may ignite and burn.  Ask that all who gather at your fire from your own inner skies, lands, and waters come with goodwill to share their truths in its warmth.     -Nancy Mellon
   
All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.     -Isak Dinesen
   

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