Map your life onto fairytales

The last week of #Rhizo15 is about to start.

I have only dabbled. Commented a few times on other people’s posts. Started a conversation about maps on facebook. I wrote a blog post about measurement a couple of weeks after everyone else had moved on from that topic.

I don’t mind. One of the things #Rizo15 has taught me is that we find (our own) way through. I’m finding my way through a lot of other things in my life (aren’t we all) which I did instead of reading and writing in rhizoland.

I’ve just read Terry’s impassioned post turning away from the rhizome metaphor, and the wonderful conversation that ensued. He quotes Wendell Berry:

Communicate slowly. Live

a three-dimensioned life;

stay away from screens.

Stay away from anything

that obscures the place it is in.

What a challenge. I love it. I think i’ll write it on a post-it and stick it to the corner of my screen.

I love that creative expression in many different forms has taken centre stage during #Rhizo15

It seems to be the way most people are able to navigate the chaos. It seems to be a way in to map, to visualise the learning(change) that happens as we explore. When straightforward, everyday language fails us and we begin to push out from the edges of the tools we know how to use. I think that’s a sign we’re learning(changing).


Summer 2009, in a forest just outside Bruges, Belgium. I was on an adventure. Taking part in a festival at protest site. I slept high in treetops, I slept at the centre of a labyrinth made of pallets. Running errands in the city felt like a series of sensory catastrophes. My body learnt the meaning of ‘culture clash’.

Bewildered and exhausted from the newness, from the bravery required just to have arrived here. Seduced by the magic, buzzing from the defiant romance of it all. In the centre of the forest an old munitions factory, now only a couple of walls and concrete floors warped by roots. Under the incendiary slogans scrawled across the walls, a typewriter. I sat at it and wrote this:

quote pop if there’s no other way to explain. Map your life onto fairytales if there’s no other way to navigate


11 thoughts on “Map your life onto fairytales

    • Ooh! I hadn’t even thought about the dancing princesses! You have got much further in this endeavor than I. Let me know if you spot any dragons before me!

      • “We need to go further than simply identifying Cinderella as a dead metaphor; we need to kill-off the notion completely by promoting the dance of the princesses; and this attempt to change the metaphor is a collective act of sectoral leadership. Or as Neil Gaiman (paraphrasing Chesterton) put it in 2002: fairy tales are important not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be destroyed.”
        FE & 12 Dancing Princesses p4-5 😉

  1. #RHIZO15 Mapping your life to fairytales

  2. Yes, map your life, my life, our lives—even onto fairytales. That works. It keeps the fairies busy, and they don’t mind.

    Thanks so much for the wonderful reminder of why this life is so rich.

  3. I think I may be guilty of slightly over-mapping my life onto fairytales, and it works for me, so I definitely support your thinking!

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