Narrative as the Tree of Time
From a discussion on narrativity in LinkedIn:
LORRAINE HARTIN-GELARDI: If I recall my Norse mythology correctly – Yggdrasill is the world tree that supports the universe and has roots that extend into the underworld, the land of the giants and the land of the gods. It also had three wells – one which was a source of wisdom. Perhaps “narrative” could be viewed as a tree – an organizing principle – that allows us to make sense of the world. It draws upon the collective wisdom of the world and branches out into myth, folklore and personal story – all part of the same tree. Stories become a lens for all of us to see ourselves in the world – the individual amidst the universal. Storytellers are those that give voice to the stories – mythic and personal so that we can see one in the other.
Ashraf, thank you for starting this wonderful discussion – it is helping me to clarify my thinking and I love “listening” to the wisdom of others…LOVE the storytellers a "lens…."
JOSE ANGEL GARCIA LANDA: And the world is a Great Narrative indeed, Lorraine et al., at least that's the way I see it or that's the way I think we see it. Call it cosmic evolution, call it Big History, everything we do and every little story we get to know is a branch of this big Tree of Time. And narrative is our way of dealing with the temporal nature of our world and of ourselves.
One thing about storytelling is that the storyteller retells old stories, but always giving them a new twist, adapting them to the current audience. There is a circulation and recycling of stories, we tell and tell again what has already been told, but we tell it for a purpose and then it becomes ever so slightly new. I wrote a paper about that, "Narrating narrating: Twisting the twice-told tale"
Perhaps I'd tell it differently now, who nows.