Sensitivity

At the risk of talking about a sensitive subject, I'd like to offer a fairy tale perspective on "sensitivity." Lately, people have been using the word "sensitive" to describe audiences who are reactive and easily triggered by words that seem to negatively...

Real Nightingales

Lately I’ve been using WonderLit to explore the Anderson story, The Emperor and the Nightingale. You might remember that the story is about a nightingale who is captured and taken to the palace of the Emperor of China. She has a voice of unparalleled...

Speaking with Hansel and Gretel

At the Storytellers of Canada conference in Peterborough this month, Mark Jenkins and I had the privilege of spending the day with a fabulous group of storytellers and exploring the ‘thresholds’ in our fairy tales and lives. As we led the group through the...

Rat Oratio, The Rat’s Speech

A few years ago, when I was exploring Charles Perrault’s version of Cinderella, I had quite an enlightening chat with the rat. You might remember that when the fairy godmother shows up, she puts Cinderella to work. She has to fetch a pumpkin from the field...

What the Bee Knows

According to Pamela Travers, who wrote What the Bee Knows (and Mary Poppins, and a raft of wonderful essays for Parabola magazine) the bee is one manifestation of the miracles that are everywhere in nature. "The natural is enough," she writes....

Solidaire

I dreamed that I had been asked to come and speak at a school. As I was waiting to go inside, I watched a group of 12-year-old boys and girls playing in the schoolyard. And I thought, There is not one of you that I could not love. Then I found...

Moving With Melusine

In the past few weeks I’ve been very much engaged with the French legend of Melusine, which we’re exploring in the Threads workshop series this year. The story has haunted me for over a decade. Back in 2002, after writing How to Ride a Dragon,...

True Marriage

When I think of my real-life heroes and heroines, I think of people who meet sorrow and death with love, lighting the passage for those who follow. I also think of people who don't make decisions based on political or market forces but rather on what they know in...

Canoe Dream

This audio blog is based on a dream that I had some years ago. It has to do with a 'canoe lesson' and the difficulty that an exquisitely advanced teacher had when he took me on as a student. It has prompted many insights over the years, but recently I've...

The White Snake

Here is an unpublished parable I wrote a number of years ago, inspired by the Grimms’ fairy tale, “The White Snake.” I wondered who the white snake could be, and how he might be faring these days with so many humans starved for his wisdom. The White Snake by Michelle...

Trust

Trust. By definition, trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or strength of somebody or something. Numerous fairy tales speak to the value of trust and the problem of breaking trust. Typically, a group of older brothers will betray the trust of...

Including US

What is the knocking at the door in the night?It's somebody wants to do us harm. No, no, it is the three strange angels.Admit them, admit them. D.H. Lawrence, “Song of a Man Who Has Come Through” I have been thinking a lot about inclusion lately. I would...

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