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How to Tell a Story

Every story begins with a noticing.  So for example in the story of Flippy and the Dust in the Beam of Light, the noticing is the way the dust dances around in a beam of light.

Every noticing conceals a yearning, because those who are self-satisfied and yearn for nothing, notice nothing.  In the story of Flippy and the Dust the yearning is to know what happens to the dust in the beam of light when the light goes away.

To explain the next part of a story you need to be familiar with the idea of “letting something have its head”.  Let’s say you have a young man and you want him to drive a car but he really wants to plant a garden.  If you let him have his head he will plant a garden.  You need to take the yearning and let it have its head and then you will see its disparate parts displaying themselves to your eager imagining.  In the case of the Flippy story this is Flippy’s journey.  He makes friends with a dust mote and learns to listen to its heart-beat, such a quiet heart-beat a grain of dust has!  And he sees where it goes when the sun beam is gone and it is not dancing with its brother.

Every story has a heart of night and in order to tell it you have to dip into your own heart of night yourself.  Don’t you know that the reflections of all the things in your life that you have seen and felt, all the hearts that have touched yours, all the people whose souls you have brushed against are reflected in that heart of night.  You might think you can’t see them because they’re like a deeper darkness within the darkness, but honey you can.  You might as well say you can’t taste honey just because you’re asleep when you taste it.  Oh sweetheart that’s the sweetest taste it is, that’s why the fairies won’t let us taste it while we’re awake.  They’re jealous of our waking life just as we’re jealous of their sleep, and that is why when we meet them and love them it is called the life of dreams.

The dustmote in Flippy’s story was in love with a night fairy who disappeared whenever the sun came out, but shone with a light that was too powerful for our eyes to see because it was a light of darkness.  And that’s the light you need to turn on to tell your story and to be honest that’s the light you boys and girls at home or remembering your home as you go into the world have to turn on to read a story, particularly a story about Flippy and the dust mote and the night fairy who lived happily ever after.

 

Good night!

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