This evening of stories from Chris and Ivanir was full of charm and depth. There was strong theme of men being trapped in their desire to control women and the various women’s response to this. In essence, however, the stories spoke to me of freedom, the courage to take it and the ease with which it can be sacrificed. There were the 12 princesses who found a way to defy their overly controlling father. The shoemaker who lost his freedom by accepting a gift which became a burden. The woman whose curiosity to lead her to discover her own Eden; leaving her disparaging, self-righteous husband blind to what he had never seen.

Underneath this, the pulse that I took away from the evening was that freedom is bound up with a sense of curiosity and wonder. The wonder that comes from an open-mindedness that allows you to see what you didn’t see before. And an open-mindedness that allows you to accept the gifts which will take you on new and unexpected paths. The tales tell us that these gifts are usually offered to those who are less fixed in their positions and are humble in their outlook. The woman who trusted the bounty of her goats to lead her to an unexpected Eden was a beautifully simple parable in this respect.

These are tales that are needed badly in this age, where we are tending to be more and more ‘right’ in our opinions –and willing to make others more and more ‘wrong’. A trend that leads to diminished dialogue and even less chance of understanding and compromise.

The tales contained a warning too, of how easily wonder and joy is compromised when we are trapped in the burden of too much … too much.

I would like to thank Ivanir and Chris for sharing these tales and the opportunity they have offered to reflect on life once again.


Malcolm Green 5.9.20