My father was a seanchaí (the Gaelic word for a storyteller/historian)—not by trade but in spirit. While many of his stories were drawn from his rather unusual life, the rest seemed to rise unbidden from his imagination. Seen through his eyes, the world became vividly alive. Today, while the stories’ contours have softened, it is that sense of aliveness and his profound curiosity that stay with and inspire me.
In a certain sense we are all weavers of stories, both individually and collectively. Some we have inherited through our culture, some through our experience, while others are woven into the fabric of our biology. These are the powerful narratives that underlie our lives – what we believe to be true about ourselves, others, and the world around us. And most importantly, what we believe is possible and…not.
In witnessing the heartbreak and growing crises in our world, many have suggested that we need a new story, one that is both grounded in science and yet speaks to our body, mind, heart, and soul.
For this practice, I invite you to be a storyteller, a bard, a visionary for humanity.
Be playful, be courageous! Call upon your muses!
You have been tasked with contributing to a new story. Use one or more of the following prompts to begin:
Please share your responses to this invitation in the reflection area below.
Siobhan McClory is inspired by and loves working with those asking questions and discovering new possibilities for themselves, others, and our achingly beautiful and complex world.
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My brightest light allows me to see, that I am alive; life is perfect with the imperfections, everything in life is impermanent. I acknowledge its and accept its and learn from the life. I am grateful to be alive:)
My brightest light allows me to see the beautiful darkness of my life… From my heart of love comes a spiral of compassion for my self, others and nature… From blame to accountability… I am a part of everything that is and will be…
A world where we live in accordance with the truth of our interdependence would allow us all to be partners in our world. We would never view others as outsiders, foreigners, or immigrants. We would share our cultures and outlooks with respect and dignity. We would never allow our fellow men and women to be abused or harmed .
My brightest light allows me to see everything as a mirror of this bright shining yellow-white light of eternity although it changes every time.
In a world where we all do what we love there is always a smile of seeing the “OTHER” in its meaning of divine.
A world for which we could all be grateful would contribute to PEACE within any breath.
A world where we live in accordance with the truth of our interdependence/freedom we are in our most creative state of being.
Blessings for all of the creators who are acting in th NOW and HERE.
In a world where we live in accordance with the truth of our interdependence, we look out for each other. We vote with an eye to what benefits us all instead of only our own interests. We become citizens of the world, not just our own communities.
A world for which we could all be grateful would include all. No one would feel alone, but rather would be woven into the loving tapestry of their community. A warm blanket of hearts and minds resting in the spirit of the family of man. “All for one and one for all.”
A world where we live in accordance with the truth of our interdependence…means there can be no hatred which is not self-hatred, no lie which is not self deception. My brother’s/sister’s flesh and bone, their blood and breath, are mine…their joy is mine, their justice is my own, their hunger, happiness, grief, victory, are all my own. I can choose to be an agent for my own liberation by acting on justice and loving kindness as verbs, not nouns.
In reading through everyone’s comments, a few themes seem present and consistent.
Sense of connection to something vaster, wholeness, possibility, connection, hopefulness, compassion, clarity, joyfulness, aliveness, otherness, complexity, timelessness, the natural world, beauty, witnessing, forgiveness, empathy, our humanity, wonder, openness, gratitude, love, awareness, limitlessness….
If I am missing some, please add them.
My brightest light allows me to see into a field where the writers are dancing, each in her own space yet weaving the narrative around her neighbours. They laugh, they twilrl, they sing; and with their smiles and hands meeting they exchange the joy of being human.
….My brightest light allows me to see infinity beyond the hedge…
In a world where we all do what we love, I see myself dancing and singing, with grace and joy.
A world for which we could all be grateful would be like a fantastic group of children running happily down the hills with their hands clasped to each other.
A world in which we live according to the truth of our interdependence … oh … this is a dream, hidden behind heavy clouds … somewhere there must exist a small bean seed that is growing into a giant tree, and pass through the heavy clouds. Somewhere there must be people who can climb this growing bean and get the secret, and bring it back to the world. Somewhere there must be people who can understand and change the reasons of the heaviness of the world with the strength of a gentle, stubborn redemption, but delicate as the flight of a fairy.
In reading this, Anna, Margaret Meade’s words come to mind, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” I think there are many people joining together (in small and larger groups) to work towards a brighter future for all. It is not something that is in the mainstream news perhaps….and there is much work to be done.
When it comes to the truths of interdependence, I think there are numerous ways, that this principle is being revealed, advances in science and Eastern wisdom teachings being two examples. Also when one thinks of the internet, (and I realize this can be used in negative and positive ways) but think of an idea and then how that idea joins with others to allow something new to come into being. I love your words “strength of a gentle, stubborn redemption, but delicate as the flight of a fairy.”
Thank you Siobhan for your reply, I am so glad for that and for the simple and deep sharing we can have in this site. Warmly, Anna.
In a world where we all do what we love…….. I envision such satisfaction and joy that there would be no place for greed and one man ship for there would be no place for unhealthy competition. From the place of love when we work we will think of what other’s would love. I read somewhere give up the fruits of your labour unto me……the true meaning of that will all ready be there as when we love our work even if the end result is not that great, it will go unnoticed . I can actually go on. Oh what joy such a world would be.
My brightest light allows me to see the world with clarity and compassion each day. My brightest light allows me to truly see the beauty within me and all around me. My brightest light allows me to see the power of forgiving myself and others.
Really beautiful and inspiring, Jeanne, I love the possibilities in this seeing. Thank you for sharing this.
My brightest light allows me to see, without disturbing, the tiny details of life around me – deep into the grass, high in the trees, and miles from where I stand. My brightest light allows me to see lives that are otherwise hidden from view, and I’m reminded of my place among them. We are animals and organisms, in all our complexity, our triumphs and tragedies, sharing this planet today.
I love the sense of a widening and compassionate embrace, Gwen, and belonging, not only for ourselves but also “the more than human world.”
When you speak of “deep in the grass’, I am reminded of when I wore a headset that enabled me to hear singing insects, whose “songs” lie outside the range of most adults hearing (kids can hear them). Looking out over a meadow, it was as if an entire world opened up, that had previously been unavailable. The experience has always stayed with me and I find it humbling in knowing the limitations of my human perception.
Thank you Siobhan! There is a beautiful poem called “What The Dog Perhaps Hears” by Lisel Mueller. Your experience of hearing what is unheard made me think of it. There is so much of life that we don’t perceive, yet we are a part of it. I like to remind myself of that regularly.
Wow, Gwen, I just read that poem, it is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for mentioning it. What really struck me about the experience was that I knew before I put the headphones on that there was much that I was not hearing. (and I have pretty good hearing:) but it was the actual experience of hearing that brought it to a deepened wonder. (and your comment) ” I like to remind myself of that regularly.” yes, I do too. Thank you.
Quite beautiful; thanks.
Siobhan: Would that we all could be seanchaithe (yes, that’s the plural of seanchaí) … able to tell stories that make the world seem more vivid and alive, as it truly is.
Would that we could. Here is to the seanchaí in you, Lang.
My brightest light allows me to see that after a night of worry and sadness, I can let go of my futile attempts at control.
My brightest light has a little joke with me about the word ‘futile’!
My brightest light connects me to a loving presence which I feel sees a bigger picture even when I don’t
I am sorry to hear of your restless night, they are never easy. Hoping your day today is filled with ease and connection to that loving presence.
Thank you Siobhan. It really was. And a turning point came when I opened my email from Gratefulness.org & decided to join. Loved the image of you in the long grass with your headset and the singing insects!
That is wonderful to hear, Annie.
You have a wonderful Irish name great legacy to have been left from your Irish side. The Irish know how to tell stories often birthed in deep depression and tough situations they have faced. I am from Donegal and storytelling is a fascination feature of the Irish and they come alive when stories are shared.
Oh, I hear you on the Irish stories and the birthing place of so many stories. I grew up in Kildare and although I live in the states now, Ireland is woven into my being. Donegal is gorgeous. And in speaking of Irish names, I am noticing and appreciating yours.
My brightest light allows me to see space, wide and light. Moving easy in the limitlessness. Dancing dragons.
My brightest light allows me to see beyond the calendar and the days of the week. The months and years. Beyond the hours and minutes, to the tick…tick…tick, of my heart.
My brightest light allows me to see beyond this world of past and future. The push/pull of now.
My brightest light allows me to see a visceral dance. The push/pull of blood in organs. DNA tales.
My brightest light allows me to see the rocks in the river, jostling currents, eddies, and long slow deep stretches
My brightest light allows me to reach out to others. Bright flashing thoughts colliding!
My brightest light allows me to see the way home.
In reading this, I am struck by the expansiveness and yet also the grounded specificity of the rocks, the tick tick tick of the heart and connecting with others. And I love the last line…”allows me to see the way home”.
Liz, that is so beautiful! Thank-you for sharing!
Sending you light and love, Sheila 💖
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