Monday, 21 January 2013

Story cont.

I had thought I would move on to discuss ritual today, however, my roommate found this wonderful quote on story that I just had to share. O'Donohue definitely provides food for thought.


The imagination of early childhood has no limits. This is why children are fascinated by stories. A story has permission to go anywhere. It's characters can have any powers and do anything they like. The child rarely experiences the story as an observer. The child enters the story, experiencing its drama from within. Often a child will explicitly ask to be included as one of the characters in a story: "Which am I, Daddy?" The wonder and imagination of the child are awakened and engaged. Perhaps the shape of story fascinates the child, because it takes the child's longing to wild and dangerous frontiers where it cannot go in its day-to-day life. The story allows the child to act with a power and strength which are impossible in the limitation of its present little body. Anything and everything is possible in a story. The longing of the child lives in the realm of pure possibility. All doors are open. All barriers are down. Because it is a story with a beginning, middle and end, it offers a form of belonging in which the full adventure of longing can be explored. Narrative is a dramatic form of continuity created by longing, and it is also a place where human desire can come home. Great stories retain resonance because they embody the "immortal longings" of the heart; our longing to enter them comes from the child-like side of our hearts.

The innocence of childhood is never simply pure. Childhood also has a dark innocence. In its unknowing, the child senses the presence of negativity and evil. The fascination with monsters and sinister goblins often grips the little mind. Children are not interested in stories which lack the dimension of fear. This accounts for the subtle depth of fairy tales.
~John O'Donohue, Eternal Echoes, p. 36, 37

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