Perhaps one of the most powerful sentences in all of human history is,“Tell me a story.”
from Grant Voth—The History of World Literature
“Their story, yours, mine — it’s what we all carry with us on this trip we take, and we owe it to each other to respect our stories and learn from them.”
from The Call of Stories by Robert Coles
“What stories can tell us, however, much more profoundly than we have realized, is how our human nature works, and why we think and behave in this world as we do.”
from The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker
My Official Launch
Almost two years ago, to be specific November 16, 2012, I fell and hit my head on a rock while hiking. For the past two years I have been dealing with the physical consequences and side effects of that injury. The first of this year, when I set out My Priorities for the year, I asserted that:
- I would continue focussing on my health problems so that I could, in time, be freed from focussing largely upon my self
- When I had completed the first task then to develop a realization of what I might do each day to benefit others.
- As of today my ENT doctor signed off on the last corrective surgery saying I am free get on with my life.In honor of that occasion, I am launching My Call of Stories blog.
I have always been fascinated by stories, first by those in books, later by those in movies, and more recently by the stories in the news.
My interests and understandings of stories got a big boost from a unique experience I had in medical school. During my sophomore year, a new faculty member, Dr. Jose Barchilon, joined the Department of Psychiatry. Shortly after his arrival, he came to our class to offer us a non-credit novel seminar.
He said that we would read the classics, meaning before Freud and Jung, together, and learn our lessons about human psychology from them, his premise being that the classics were “classics” because their authors were superb observers of human behavior. A group of about a dozen of us spent the next three years reading a novel and getting together with Dr. Barchilon to discuss it every couple of months, beginning with Huckleberry Finn and finishing with War and Peace.
It was the best literature course I ever had, and I carried its lessons with me, almost unaltered, until I, in the past few years, found and read Christopher Booker’s The Seven Basic Plots.
reflecting my thinking and learnings to this point about stories, why we tell them and where they come from.
Of all The Quest stories perhaps the most compelling plot is the spiritual quest story, or pilgrimage.
I want to name four people who are directly or indirectly responsible for my launch of this particular blog at this particular time.
- From early in this year my friend Molinda Sue Goforth has been encouraging me to write and share my stories, and I have spent much of this year writing.
- To foster that writing I signed up for on online course, Journaling for Creative Growth, which begins today. In preparation for that course I was directed to Claire De Boer’s own writing blog, The Gift of Writing, which triggered my thinking about a blog of my own.
- Then sometime in the last month I downloaded and listened to a talk, Faithful to All Things, by David Whyte in which he encouraged me, as well as others, to share our unique perspective.
- The clincher though came from my friend Len De Angelis, who, in the context of our study of Dante’s La Commedia, encouraged us each of us to share our lives with others, and immediately put his own advice into practice by creating a blog, Living Dante.