Friday, August 8, 2014

You don't give a haircut to a lion

I spent the whole night, while my body slept, helping people to find and shape stories. With some, this meant helping them to find their voice, to speak in front of others, free of text, and to release their stories from the clutter of biography and explanation. First the adventure, later the discussion. With others, it meant getting the right words to line up together on a page. So many pages! Some beautiful creamy art paper, others veined like parchment, some ruled in composition books, others quite unruly.
    Some of the stories came from dreams. Some grew from the slightest wisp, the merest snippet from the night. Some were necklace stories, strung like bright beads on a string of incidents from the speaking land: the caw of that crow, the fall of that card, the vanity plate that read Camelot. Some were the work of literary privateers, given permission to steal a little from others. Some were inspired by shelf elves who arranged for a certain book to turn up or vanish at a creative moment.
   The unstoppable stories were the ones that had been seeking the teller for years, even a whole lifetime. I helped people shape these wild ones too, but only a little. You don’t give a haircut to a lion.

When I left my bed to walk my dog in the morning sunlight, I felt deeply satisfied, with the kind of satisfaction that comes when you have done a job that you chose to do as well as you can. Helping people find their best stories, and tell them so well that others want to hear them, is one of my greatest pleasures. And one of the greatest gifts of the Active Dreaming methods I have created is that we are forever encouraging each other to become both storytellers and story makers.

Lion Man on brown bag (c) Robert Moss


Patricia said...

This brings out deep emotions for me. I had a dream last night where I felt the job was finished, the adolescents made it to their rightful places. I don't even need to know where they went, simply I got to help get them there. I use to not beable to write at all. Now because of this active dream work, I can't stop writing. I think now my focus needs to turn to my voice. When I am in certain group situations, sometimes my voice that comes out just doesn't match what's inside. This frustrates me more then anything.

TN said...

The title of this blog post reminds me of a dream I had a couple of years ago where a lion gae ME a haircut. I woke up determined to never let that happen again.

To respond to Patricia and others who experience the same frustration, I would say, take heart : what takes shape as you try to express one idea to a group can become a new revelation.

Robert Moss said...

Patricia, when you go to the Place of the Lion (the original title for my book ACTIVE DREAMING) you can't help but find and free your voice. If I may play author for a moment, perhaps it's time for you to read or re-read that book.