I’ll tell you a story
About Jack a Nory;
And now my story’s begun;
I’ll tell you another
Of Jack and his brother,
And now my story is done.*
Today is a gift.
I can miss the truth of this because of all that needs to be done but today isn’t so much about time as it is a chapter or sequence within a story.
‘Perhaps we could temper the course as commodity with the course as story.’**
Psychology professor Joshua Searle-White and and associate professor of theatre Dan Crozier suggest thinking “of [the lesson] as a story that you will help unfold for the students,”* but this notion of “embodied narrative” is important for anyone, whatever their walk of life and work. We can turn any commodity into goods into services into experiences into transformative experiences.
So this is more than a day; this is our story.
The day doesn’t happen to us, a clock running down. We play within it – with our imagination and purpose. Even just to say this makes us more aware of the possibilities we can bring to a day, to the people encounters and meetings and demands within it.
‘A machine, like any model, ought to propose rather than command … Against the claim of perfection we can assert our own individuality, which gives distinctive character to the work we do.’^
The joy or blessedness of a day is not something that comes from outside us but from the very centre of our being.
(*Jackanory is the name of a British children’s TV show that had celebrities reading a story. The English nursery rhyme was first published in 1760 and jackanory became Cockney rhyming slang for story. Today’s story isn’t told by a celebrity but by you.)
(**From Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber’s The Slow Professor.)
(^From Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman – reflecting upon Denis Diderot‘s thinking with the appearance of the machine that produces something more perfectly than a human can.)