Story in a Storyless Land

Today, I had an insight into story.

To be transparent, I never really got "story".
I knew the parts and elements, i.e.
characters, setting, plot, climax, theme,

But somehow when this idea came to me,
everything seemed to amalgamate
and also transcend and connect to
the world.



The story really is in the return,
the second response,
the thought, feeling, reflection,
change of heart.

Without that,
there is no story.

There is no real story.

     There are those that may have spoken up before the plot went South--to alarm us of our ways--and perhaps in the face of our return, they may feel a little begrudging.  I don't know.

     But therein lies the story of seeing, hearing, and taking a step toward wholeness, towards life and humanity, towards flourishing again.

     And for those that see, perhaps it is an opportunity to continue growing in the way their faith professes: in the Father and his unconditional love of acceptance, compassion, and grace because, he too, sees that this life is now about something different:  the heart and her story.  Our story.  Each of our stories.

     Would he have loved our interactions before there was story?  Constant not because things never changed but because life was always continuing forth in her fullness and always burgeoning and begetting?  

     It dawned on me in this idea that I journaled that story never existed.  Dynamic life did.  Harmony and beauty.  Depth and relationships.  The ecosystems in rhythm in sync with nature, ourselves, one another, with Him.  The fruition of fruition. 

     Story was introduced with characters falling, the souring of trust and love, the beginning of disunity and discord.  No discourse.  It sounds like such a wonderful myth.  A myth not of the modern understanding of something "false" but of a genre for understanding, perhaps, the story we live in.  You and me.

     And there cannot be a story without characters, a context, a fatal flaw or fall, a change of some sort, and a beautiful theme connecting it all together, weaving the beautiful and the ill, the heart-make and heartbreak into something new.

     That fullness of the story does not happen without a change of heart.

     Within the Hebrew and Christian understandings of the world, the Garden seemed like life was about Life--God, our fullness, enjoying Paradise with animals and gardens, plants, and each other.  (Or, to frame it differently, imagine an earth with no war, muddied relationships, toxicity, oil spills, awful Presidential candidates, the killing of animals, deceit, corruption, slandering and a heart disconnected from itself.  Or, arguing about what love truly is.)

     There was a time where the intent was to flourish and live, and that was what life was about. 

To think,
befriend and know,
know and beknown,
be at peace,
and rest
with and in
the I AM. 

     This I AM is the fullness of existence, the Word of Life, wherein our fullness of our existence rests and flows from and flows forth.  This Love is not to be feared in the sense of trauma and trembling, but in reverence, awe, that brings about trembling.  This I AM is greater than we are.

     This time was a time of harmony.  Perhaps where yoga abounded, dances danced and discernment heard; a time when true, rich community existed in our interpersonal relationships amongst other things.

     A time where God's pulse was flowing through the veins of plants and humans alike and the humans created and befriended and loved.  This was constant.  Not constant like concrete, but steady and unchanging because it was changing and dynamic and flowing forth.  The fullness of life itself; the fruits of the fruits and then the fruits of those fruits of fruits.

     There was no story in the storyless land.  Not because the world was flat and dull but because it was vibrant and plentiful.  Mystery and awareness held together, in beautiful togetherness.  No skepticism, distrust, anxiety, control or the need for security abounded.

    And now--present day--we know that we rejected the notion of story.  Nothing mattered.  We created our own meaning.  Our own reality.  Our own understanding.  All that mattered was me.  We don't need "happy endings" let us be honest about despair and move on.  Let it be because that is too hard, when life is supposed to be about happiness.  And perhaps, there is no I am except what we are.  This seems similar to going through a period of not apologizing for fear of being served a dose of blame, shame, and guilt.  Who in their right mind would desire that.

     And now we are finding our need for "story" again but at the choice of letting it float free, devoid of any framework.  This is akin to apologizing without the heart, simply uttering the words to move on, to avoid conflict...or repair a public image.  We are not hard-pressed to find this happening, almost daily it seems.

     But owning our wrongs or ways does not necessarily imply that blame, shame, and guilt follow on its heels.  At least not in the Way of Life I have been describing. 

     And so now, we seek after life to live it.  Isn't that noble and right?   And yet, our experience in this world has changed somehow.  It was about true life before and story did not exist.  And now story does.  So could it be that we now have to find our place in our personal story before we can then be connected to the paradise around us?  To be in right relationships with one another and the land we are in?  And with the Creator?

     I see that we must know our story before we can touch and taste life in her fullest and dynamic existence because that change of heart unlocks our access to that way of life that is there, that is in our bones to behold that is in our bones to have breath.  But this way of life can only be gained by first acknowledging that we have no life.

The story really is in the return,
the second response,
the thought, feeling, reflection,
and change of heart.