Happy World Storytelling Day!
"storycare is inseparable from healthcare" ~ Dan Yashinsky
What is the story you choose to carry within you - that cares for all of humanity? Tell me. Share it with me.
There is an Italian version and a Scottish version, yet I like what is retold by Dan Yashinsky in this version from the Arabian Nights. ( Taken from the Diving in the Moon - Honoring Story Facilitating Healing Journal 2016 of HSA)
The Happy Man's Shirt.
A king had a son who was so sad that all he did was stare at the wall of his bedroom as he lay in bed. (Many heads nodded at this description. “The bed is your enemy,” one patient said to another.) Finally an old wise woman came to the palace and told the king that she knew what could heal his prince. “Go,” she said, “and search your kingdom for a happy man. Borrow his shirt. When your son wears the shirt of a happy man, he, too, will remember how to feel happy.”
The king left his sick son and began to wander through the land, searching for a happy man. He asked the captain of the army if he was happy. “Yes, your majesty,” he replied. The king asked: “Is there nothing you want?”
“Well, I wouldn’t mind being the general.”
“Then you’re not truly happy as you are,” the king responded.
He kept searching. The priest wanted to be a bishop. The merchant wanted to be even richer. He quickly found that nobody was happy with what they had or who they were.
Then one day he came to a forest. Just on the other side of a large hedge, he could hear someone chopping wood and singing a truly joyful song. The king’s heart beat faster. He called out: “Who are you?”
“I am a simple woodcutter,” came the reply.
“You sound so happy,” the king said.
“Yes, stranger, I am happy. My family and I live here in the woods, and we have everything we need.”
“Is there nothing you want?” “No, friend, I am content with the life I am leading.”
“Then please help me,” the king replied. “I am the king and my son the prince is ill with a terrible melancholy. A wise woman told me that only if he wears the shirt of a happy man will he be cured. Can you lend me your shirt?”
The man on the other side of the hedge didn’t answer for a long moment. Then he walked around and stood in front of the king wearing only a ragged coat. “I would like to help you, your majesty, but I cannot. You see, I am so poor that I have no shirt.”
And this is where, like Scheherazade, I stopped the story. What, I asked my listeners, do you think happened next? What did the king do?
Here is where the story stops and most others will laugh away at the man not wearing a shirt. The King enlightened will go back to his palace.
But let us pause here and ask a question. By asking a question here the story becomes increasingly interesting. Dan Yashinsky goes on to say that we are constantly looking for answers but what if we stay with the question, then the answers emerge from multiple spaces.
Do you wish to share with me what will happen next?
Do you want to imagine how this story may end?
What does a King / a Father do when he realises that the cure he was looking for was actually not outside but within?
Does this remind you of Poh in Kung Fu Panda who finds out that the SECRET on the scroll, was in
To read the ideas that came up for Dan's group. You can go here and read it
As for me I stay with the fact that
LIFE IS EMPTY AND MEANINGLESS
It is what we choose as Meaning to give it