– Toni Morrison, The Nobel Lecture in Literature, 1993
“Make up a story… For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.”
When I say “Team Humanities,” I really mean “Team Story.” Our story of being human actually begins with our ability to tell stories.
When my kids were little, we did story rounds. I would draw something on the chalkboard with the first sentence of the story and my little ones would help me draw out the rest of the story. Stories were a major part of our house. It is a major part of our humanity. We tell stories. We use our imagination. We create worlds in our minds. For more on the story prompt and the chalkboard drawing, read this blog post.
Stories can teach and can heal and can foster a sense of wonder.
I have written many blog posts on this trying to show what little it takes to homeschool on the days when life is too much. Those are the days especially when we tell stories. Like this Storytelling Sunday in 2013.
My children used to ask for the same stories to be told and still do. “Mama, the one with the two sisters…or the one with the 7 children…or that one with the king, you know? Or Goldilocks and the Seven Bears!!” That last one is my personal favourite.
In this article in The Atlantic, the author, Cody, C. Delistraty writes:
Stories can be a way for humans to feel that we have control over the world. They allow people to see patterns where there is chaos, meaning where there is randomness. Humans are inclined to see narratives where there are none because it can afford meaning to our lives—a form of existential problem-solving.
When children feel anxious or afraid, a story, like a security blanket, can help them feel comfort.
At a time like this, when everything is uncertain, I have been asked for a good story to tell. I have recommended this Eric Carle book: Papa please get the moon for me. The moon waxes and waned for everyone on this earth no matter where you are. You see the moon. And you know grandma who we can’t visit right now? Guess what, she sees the same moon. Arrange a time with loved ones to look at the moon together.
Tonight, light some candles and tell a story. This is what we were meant to do.