Saturday, July 19, 2014

Stretching Definitions and Storytelling

My husband and I are doing the work of studying elder work. Together and separately Pete and are listening to the teachings of The Second Half of Life recorded by Angeles Arrien, and also reading Arrien's book of the same name. It's a well-timed investment for us, as Pete has just celebrated his 65th birthday, and I am well into my 66th year; we are young elders in the sixties decade. We have much to remember, and learn as we appreciate what life has been thus far, and inventory our willingness to stretch the definitions of "old", "aging", and "death". When I began to apprentice with Aunty Betty in the study of What Makua O'o means, she passed to me the basic tools of this practice of elder-in-training. During the two decades since our first days together, the journey of elder-in-training has stretched me, and stretched the definition. I have folded into my path, and unfolded again and again. As Pete and I reflect on the first few days with Angeles Arrien's teaching many thoughts, visions and inspirations surface. We share those things between us at breakfast, sometimes after watching a movie, and often as we lay in the dark before sleep. For me, one thing is being strongly reinforced as I reflect and begin to integrate the teachings from The Second Half of Life: storytelling is important medicine!

During the next few weeks my posts here may be lean, as I focus on the study and build the inventory of my storytelling medicine. Many shamanic traditions believed it was essential that a great storyteller have (at least) one hundred stories in her medicine pouch. As I considered that I danced through the stories I have, and realize, "Oh that is what I will spend the rest of my life with. I have a few more stories yet to write, and once they are written, they must be told."

Here is the latest of the medicine story written today. Link to it ... It's a story about the silent winged visitor, Pueo. In this story, attend to the images, memories, or feelings that are triggered as you read. This, and all the parts of the medicine stories are there to inspire, heal, and beckon to your fullest heart. Woven throughout this story are the teachings I have discovered in the work of Angeles Arrien. Stories that have worth pin themselves where they can do the most good. That's the safety pin again, still as good as it has always been since my mother wore them to hold her pants up in place of a button.

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