Listening for the Gold

In all stories, there is what is called “The Golden Thread”.  It is the through line – the tiny, almost imperceptible tether that connects a series of seemingly random events into a solid, fully formed story.  Fairy tales and folk tales can get a little wandery – they have lots of tangents and don’t seem to follow the same formula. Most movies follow a rhythm and that is why most movies are predictable.  Read the Grimms fairy tale “Water of Life” or the Russian fairy tale “Babooska” and you regularly find yourself wondering ‘what is going on?’ and ‘why are we here?’

But in the end, it is all pulled together – in the end, we can see the golden thread of the story.

The challenge, then, with storying – or spinning a tale on the spot – is how to find the golden thread when you don’t know where the story is going.  Is this all just nonsense or is this story I am telling serving some higher purpose, tapping into some kind of truth, delivering some deep wisdom cloaked in seemingly unconnected images and events?   

The way to answer that question is to ‘listen for the gold’

And gold … shines.