Dancing with Wonder by Nancy King takes the reader on a story making journey and teaches the reader how to create their own journey.
The title of the book Dancing with Wonder was so intriguing, it compelled me to read it. I had no idea that my image of storytelling would alter so drastically from hobby to therapeutic tool.
"The yearning to be heard without being judged is fundamental to our sense of well-being." This line captured and held my attention throughout the book. While I have always loved fables and other types of stories, I had never before thought to use them therapeutically.
King has written Dancing with Wonder to assist the reader in using stories to heal themselves and others. The story begins with a background of her own experience and them encourages the reader to form their own storymaking community. She gives the reader all the tools one needs to embark on this wonderful journey. The book is divided into chapters on Imagemaking, Storymaking, Experiencing the Storymaking Process and Story Journeys.
"Imagemaking" was the most surprising concept of the book. In this section, King details how to use clay, paints, and other artistic media to connect and solidify our unconscious thought processes. I was apprehensive initially because I have very little artistic ability. However, as she repeatedly exemplifies in the book, it is not a judgment of anyone's ability to create a vivid likeness, it is a means to access the unconscious thoughts that may be holding one back. The community is given clay, for example, and given 30 seconds to create something. It is the group discussion of what the image represents that often times reveals important information to the artist.
Another way she uses art is to have the participants paint themselves in 30 seconds. She then reads a story and they once again paint themselves. The comparison of the two paintings becomes the focus of the group process.