December 07, 2019
Look to the real that you yourself live. The kinds of tales found there can never come from books.
Women Who Run With the Wolves
By Clarissa Pinkola Estés
This book is a gift. Have I said that already? It's not a coincidence this found its way to me, this year of all years.
2020: the year I tell my stories.
"I tell people to do their own mining of stories from their own lives, and insist upon it with those I teach, especially the stories from their own heritages, for if at the least, one turns always to the tales directly from the translators of Grimms, for instance, then the tales of their personal heritage—as soon as their old ones die of—shall be lost to them forever. I am a strong supporter of those who bring back the stories of their heritages, preserving them, saving them from death by neglect. Of course, it is the old people who are the bones of the entire healing and spiritual structures everywhere on the face of the earth.
Look to your people, your life. It is not by accident that this advice is the same among great healers and great writers as well. Look to the real that you yourself live. The kinds of tales found there can never come from books. They come from eyewitness accounts.
The authentic mining of stories from one's own life and the lives of one's own people, and the modern world as it relates to one's own life as well, means that there will be discomfort and trials. You know you are on the right path if you have experienced these: the scraped knuckles, the sleeping on cold ground—not once, but over and over again—the groping in the dark, the walking in circles in the night, the bone-chilling revelations, and the hair-raising adventures on the way—these are worth everything. There must be a little, and in many cases, a good deal of blood spilled on every story, on every aspect of your own life, if it is to carry the numen, if a person is to carry a true medicine.
I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories from your life—your life—not someone else's life—water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. That is the work. That is the only work."