A cat moves as if his body were not an object but an unfurling gesture. … The human animal makes the most complex movement. In its every gesture the long, upright body of a person is weighted with consciousness. More often than not the inner gravity of thought is heavier than the gravity of the clay.*
Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.**
Around three thousand years ago, tradition has it that King Solomon was scribing his wisdom; things like:
He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.^
Today, our species is exploring deep into space on the one hand and nanotechnology on the other.
Measuring travel across space in light years: 6 trillion miles a year.
Measuring distance in nanospace in nanometres: a billionth of a metre.
If you want to go smaller there are always picometres, attometres and temtometres: respecitively a thousandth, millionth and billionth of a nanometre.
I cannot imagine these distances: apparently a nanometre is equivalent to the distance a man’s beard grows in a second.^^
I am feeling the weight of O’Donohue’s gravity of consciousness.
Whatever we do, and we can do some amazing and astonishing things, we’ll never lose ourselves to the distances or the details if we daily connect with our stories: the kinds of story that are moving, unfolding, rather than fixed.
Robert Mckee writes,
writers of unique characters underpin their creativity with research*^.
I’d just been reading Bernadette Jiwa’s account of spotting someone at a nearby café table taking out a notebook and observing a couple at another table, commenting to her husband and then reflecting:
‘She’s a writer.’ […] And I know for sure those details will end up in a story or novel one day.^*
We must never stop working at and researching for our personal stories:
Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant.⁺
Reconnecting with your stories is the best way to start a day.
We can’t use light years and nanometres to measure our stories.
How do you measure?
*From John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty;
**Mary Oliver, quoted in Bernadette Jiwa’s What Great Storytellers Know;
^^From Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds;
*^From Robert McKee‘s newsletter: The Secret to One-of-a-Kind Characters;
^*From Bernadette Jiwa’s What Great Storytellers Know;
⁺From Henry David Thoreau’s Where I Lived, and What I Lived For.