Creativity As A Spiritual Response

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July = Story

I wrote earlier this month that my parents were not story-tellers.  They were not.  However, they were both very encouraging of my reading anything and everything I got my hands on.  Once I could read, I eagerly read both fiction and non-fiction.  I am grateful for the freedom that I had to explore stories interesting to me.

  • My mother patiently listened to my eager questions about spelling the names of food products in the kitchen cabinets when I was just learning to read.  F-l-o-u-r, S-u-g-a-r,  etc.
  • My father taught me how to carefully open a new book, page by page, so that the spine of the book was not damaged.  I learned from his attitude that books were treasures and to treat them carefully.
  • I remember one instance while being home from school, I sat on the carpet listening to him read his favorite poetry.  I learned from his reading, the beauty of words.  
  • My father was a Pastor and wrote weekly sermons.  It is interesting that I don’t remember specific sermons, although I do remember stress on a Saturday night if he was still preparing his sermon at that time.  

These are cherished memories, and a small portion of my story.

I encourage you to use your journals to write your own cherished memories, your story.

Creativity As A Spiritual Response

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July = Story

My definition for today with regard to story is that stories can be real, or imagined experiences and events in our lives, or the lives of real or imagined others.  They may be oral narratives, danced, signed, or acted.   Most often in the 21st century, stories occur in oral conversation with others, often in written form and contained within the covers of a book or accessed on a technological device.   

In shape, stories often have:

  • an introduction,
  • stating of a situation,
  • often there is drama,
  • resolution
  • conclusion

The shape of story can be linear, spiral, or sometimes tangential.  Many people, including myself prefer to listen to a linear story.  It is what we expect.

However, I imagine in cultures who are more familiar with an oral tradition, the story may not be as linear or predictable.  It also may not follow the forms which I am the most familiar. That is my supposition.  I need to research that to see if my supposition is consistent with current theory.

What is your experience?  Do you agree with my definition?  What differences would you add?