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Showing posts from May, 2013

The Tourist - a story written in Susan Perrow's Therapeutic Metaphor workshop at The Examined Life Conference

This story was written for a friend whose carefully-laid plans to leave her job - at which she had stayed many unhappy years out of a desire for security - and start a business were upended when she received a diagnosis of Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Shortly after that her long-term partner left the relationship. She did not believe she had the strength to fight cancer and deal with the emotional fall-out of loss.



  The tourist planned her trip to Ireland with meticulous attention. After a tedious, uninteresting drive in Long Island traffic to JFK in a hired car, she would get on the 6-hour flight. The first hour she would read the book describing Shannon, the city to which she was headed. The second hour she would rest her eyes and dream about the life she would enjoy in this new city. The third hour she would pull a variety of snack items from her carry-on and slowly savor them while reading notes from the people who had come to wish her bon voyage. The fourth hour she wo…

Stories To Light Up The Night: An Interview With International Teacher/Trainer, Storyteller and Author Susan Perrow

"It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are. They do their work in silence, invisibly. They work with all the internal materials of the mind and self. They become part of you while changing you." Ben Okri, Birds of Heaven




Stories can change your life and when they do you almost never see it coming. The way a story gets into our consciousness is often subtle and suprising. Something about it sticks. And if we allow the story to do its work it sticks exactly where we need it. This is true of both receiving a story and making one. The skills required to weave together character, conflict and color to create a vivid and imagination-grabbing tale that is also transformative takes time, training and experience to develop. It helps to be familiar with the impact of stories on our own inner life, recovery and growth. It helps also to have an inspiring, gifted teacher to guide the process.  

     Such was my experience in April at a full-day workshop intensive facilit…