like roots grow a tree

Whenever a fairy tale is told, it becomes night. No matter where the dwelling, no matter the time, no matter the season, the telling of tales causes a starry sky and a white moon to creep from the eaves and hover over the heads of the listeners. Sometimes, by the end of the tale, the chamber is filled with daybreak, other times a star shard is left behind, sometimes a ragged thread of storm sky.

Storytelling is bringing up, hauling up; it is not an idle practice…In dealing with stories, we are handling archetypal energy, which is a lot like electricity. It can animate and enlighten, but in the wrong place and wrong time and in the wrong amount, it can have no desired effect. Sometimes people who are story-collectors do not realize what they are asking when they ask for a story of this dimension. Archetype changes us; if there is no change, there has been no real contact with the archetype. The handing down of story is a big responsibility; we have to make sure people are wired for the stories they tell.

In the best tellers I know, the stories grow out of their lives like roots grow a tree. The stories have grown them, grown them into who they are. We can tell the difference. We know when someone has grown a story and when the story has grown them.

–Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves


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