Monday, 1 February 2010

737 - Nimble Jack

By way of an illustration that storying isn't just theory, today I was making my slow bear-like way up Grainger Street when an even larger man, dressed in construction gear, approaching a builder's skip, bowled in front of me, causing me to duck down and sideways to keep out of his way.

At the instant that I could have taken affront - obviously I was there; I'm sure he clocked me; was he playing status games? - the option opened to me to become, briefly, nimble Jack, weaving out of the way of a Giant. I took the option. It felt like stepping into one character, but at the same time, I had let the 'me' that was about to take affront fall away. That felt disconcerting, but the rush of being nimble Jack for a semi-second is still with me.

I don't think I've stereotyped the construction worker as a wicked giant - or myself, for that matter, as ducking and diving. Rather, it feels like for a moment, for practical purposes, I've opened a window of play, a storyspace, in which, rather than being hurt, I've retained my dignity through an agility I might not have accessed as ambling bear.

Later, I can review the situation, sensing I lost the perceptions of one aspect of me, but gained the perceptions of another. Curious though, that this other was a character offered to me in folktale form, and that I took it in a split second with a minimum of logical thinking.

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