Each Sunday it is a joy to do my part by helping welcome us into the ritual of worship with a children’s book. Stories have a unique way of inviting us into another’s world and preparing our heart and minds to open. There is something about, “Once upon a time in a land far away…” that awakens our curiosity, it is irresistible to what mythologist Dr. Martin Shaw calls our “Wild Twin.” The “wild twin” is a story within us that we are forever seeking a glimpse of, a metaphor for the part of ourselves that we tend to ignore to conform to societal norms.
“I believe that in the labour of becoming a human, you have to earnestly search this character out, as it has something crucial for you with it. It has your life’s purpose tucked up in its pocket. If there was something you were here to do in these few, brief years, you can be sure that the wild twin is holding the key.”
Storytelling provokes the “wild twin” within each of us, it is what is known in anthropology as a human universal. For tens of thousands of years, stories shape who we are and how we learn. Storytelling has been a key way to pass on our wisdom, it is how parents teach children about values and how to behave. Our souls are hardwired for stories.
For Unitarian Universalists listening within an open heart and mind is grounded in our theology of interconnection. A story can make you present to relationship, creating an interconnection between you the storyteller and to the places of the imaginative or down the street. Once you hear a story, you cannot pretend you did not know.
“The truth about stories is, that’s all we are. You have to be careful with the stories you tell. And you have to watch out for the stories that you are told.” —Thomas King
This month we get to ask: What stories are we telling ourselves each day about who we are? What is First Church’s “wild twin”? The stories we tell ourselves, in our church and in our community are shaping us and shaping the narrative creates our future.
May we tend to our “wild twins” with intention, patience, and kindness.
Rev. Kimberlee Tomsczak Carlson, Minister of Religious Education