Expanding the scope of this blog

I used to maintain other blogs in addition to this one, they were on knitting and stories as medicine respectively. I have now decided to consolidate of them into one blog, ie this one. As a result you will be seeing posts on my investigations into why people 'craft' objects, analyses of the crafting community, possibly book reviews - whatever crosses my path and interests me in relation to crafts.

I will also include my learnings on the environment (with a design slant). How we craft our environment, our lives and the world in which we live depends on the types of stories we tell ourselves and the manner in which we tell them.  So look forward to thoughts and ideas on this topic as well.

Here is the first post (which is copied off my 'Stories as medicine' blog:

The “medicine” in stories




To move from where we are, to where we might be, there is only one way --- to change the stories we tell ourselves. Stories fuel transitions. Where they lead we do not know, but what we DO know and have known for a long time is the healing power of a good story. Stories, like art, can feed the soul.



Stories have a way of taking care of us. They come to us as gifts from those who have gone before. They come to us across time and space, expanding our imagination, strengthening us and energizing us, holding a mirror to our beauty and our ugliness and encouraging us to embrace life and death in all its glory and horror.



Learning to collect them, to tease out their inner goodness, to re-shape them for our times and to give them away, are skills we have to re-learn if we are to make our lives meaningful and our futures safe. Stories are as vital to our lives as the oxygen we breathe. That is why our ancestors put stories into our memories. It was their gift, of caring for in teaching us how to tell stories they were teaching us care for ourselves and each other.



There are many stories we learn along the course of our lives, food stories, family stories, friend stories, fairy stories, myths and legends, stories that empower, stories that diminish. Our challenge is to take the time to examine the versions of these stories we have unconsciously adopted, keep what makes us strong and re-work what doesn’t giving them all the language and metaphor of our times.



Each of us has a story and it is in the telling that we define who we are as individuals and as a collective. Stories are ancient powerful medicine or poison depending on how we decide to spin them. It is in the telling or the silence that we make ourselves whole or fragment ourselves. Through storytelling we grow close together or tear ourselves apart, we form communities or demonise people as “the other” confining ourselves to mental ghettos. If we learn to tell our stories with dignity and compassion and to accord that same right to other people, we feel a connectedness which transcends time, space and experience.



So, how can we use stories to empower ourselves and others? We can search for those stories that resonate with our own unique experience of humanness and share them. We can learn to recognize when it is time speak our truth and how. We can learn when it is time to listen and learn from other people’s truths, according them the wonder and respect they deserve. It is a long apprenticeship learning to tell a story with poise, truthfulness and kindness. This is a competency we have to equip ourselves with. A wisdom which our predecessors acknowledged and celebrated regardless of which part of the world they came from.



The best stories are those that have survived the ravages of time. They will keep us connected to a time before money ruled our lives, to a kind of  love that is not defined or limited by any societal designation, to a kind of co-creative partnership with each other and with the earth from which we have taken so much.


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