Word Prompt: Retrieve | Story Prompt: from the book “Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home” by Toko-Pa Turner

Write It Out: Instruction Video

“We are literally made of story. Every night, something in our biology compulsively spins out dream-stories in order to keep us healthy. As essential as breathing, these stories have layers of usefulness that are part self-regulatory, part transmission of wisdom, and part connective tissue to a networked intelligence unconstrained by time and space.

Myths, fairy tales, and archetypal stories give us a sense of cohesion because we recognize the patterns, even unconsciously, as bone-deeply familiar. Stories serve to remind us that whatever difficulties we might be experiencing have been encountered many times before. We are not alone; we are connected to an ancestral storehouse of experience, and embedded within those tales are the solutions and instructions for how to navigate difficulty with grace and wisdom.

This is why one of the great competencies of belonging is the cultivation of a mythic imagination. So long as we are disconnected or unaware of our ancestral inheritance embedded in myth and story, we will think of ourselves as alone. But when we reunite with that accumulation of wisdom living in dreams, mythology, and stories, we are drawing from the same original well that our ancestors’ stories came from.”


Retrieving something. Going back to where something was put, or left, and getting it. Picking it up again. Retrieving it. Is it possible to do this with stories? Can we retrieve the stories of our ancestors, the ones they dreamed and carried with them, shared and passed down to those in community around them? Can we retrieve those stories that were told for centuries, but then have been silent, perhaps forgotten, for the last 100 years or more? I hope so. Let’s try.

Thoughts? Feel free to share them here.

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