Episode 71 - Stories for Life - Mark Sears
'Fox Woman Dreaming'
This offering comes from Becoming Crew Guide Mark Sears who offers his journey with the tale below.
This ancient myth from the Inuit tradition emerged as I began my apprenticeship to the world of myth and story. I’ve heard it said that you don’t find stories that you want to tell, if you pay enough attention then the stories will seek you. Sure enough, a short, old tale in the book Scatterlings by mythologist Dr Martin Shaw sought me out good and proper.
I have subsequently heard Martin tell the story a couple of times and it has found its way into my own jaw for telling. The first time I told it around a smoky Dartmoor fire, I experienced something profound, my whole body shaking, the language so powerful that it left an indelible mark.
I’ve told it several times since and each time a similar experience as the story moves through me allowing me to notice something subtly different.
As we’ve journeyed into The Remix I have been working with an inquiry about how the stories that we need to navigate these mysterious times might not be new, shiny and exciting, not hatched from the most inspired human brain.. Perhaps the stories that we need right now are the old ones, exiled from our modern distractions. I am interested in the stories of inter-being where women can be foxes and girls can swim with the salmon people and where old ladies who take 101 steps from the routine familiarity of their lives, become wolves.
Stories from a time when the veil between human form, the wildness at the edge of things and the spirits of the forest were as delicate as a rose petal. I am interested in how we might dream our way back into these old stories, sing to them across the snow, lure them out from the back of the cave, court them as we might do a long lost love.
This one emerged from the back of the cave following our first session of our learning adventure The Remix and a provocation from Bayo Akomolafe.
He invited us to consider the possibility of shapeshifting and the idea that it is only through strange encounters beyond our comprehension that new stories might emerge.
This is a short tale, but a deep one and it begs the question -
'What have we sent into exile that we might need to reclaim right now in our culture where we find ourselves as lonely hunters at the doorway of our huts ? '
As you listen perhaps you might want to ask yourself, where do you find yourself in the story?