Stories are mischievous little buggers that have been shaping our personal and cultural identities for over ten thousand years. On this podcast, we take a careful look at just how that is. Why? Because while some stories have the ability to lift us up, transform and make us feel whole. Others have the ability to divide, mislead and keep us playing small - and who’s got time for that non-sense.
Success Is A Mytho-logical Quest
Do we have the idea of "success" all wrong? Sure, defining it is unique to each person, but let's face it, we're inundated with cultural stories and measures of success. Stories that, frankly, can take an otherwise remarkable life experience and lay it to ruin. Too many of us struggle to live up to stories that aren't even our own. We end up feeling as though we've fallen short and, in so doing, miss the magic that surrounds us. In this episode of Story Mischief, Michael shares something of a manifesto, a call to reconsider the logic of "success," and invites listeners to explore a contrary yet complementary approach.
Lies We Choose: The First Thanksgiving
From a very young age, American children across the country are indoctrinated in cultural stories that are both untrue and harmful. While they hide behind kernels of truth, the stories of Columbus and The First Thanksgiving have served to create and promote a national identity as well as a variety of political agenda's. Among these agenda's - the diminishment of crimes perpetuated against the indigenous people's of North America. On this episode, Michael explores why we choose believe and promote stories that are untrue and cause harm to others.
Found Tapes and Fly Rods: The Blair Witch Project
In the summer of 1999, everyone was talking about the Blair Witch Project. Rumors surrounded the movie's mysterious origins and some even swore the content was real, explaining the film was a collection of found tapes that documented the final days of 3 student filmmakers who in real life were listed as "missing" or "presumed dead." Fortunately, on this episode of Story Mischief, Michael C. Williams, one of those missing filmmakers back from the dead, helps to peel back the many layers of story that took the country by storm, shaped our culture, his life, and paved the way for a whole new kind of storytelling.
Coyote and the Shadow People: Understanding Death Part 2
In this weeks episode, Michael speaks with end-of-life-counselor, teacher, and filmmaker, Dr. Martha Jo Atkins. Together they explore the Nez Perce tale, Coyote and the Shadow People. One in which Coyote, along with his old buddy, Death, travel to the land where his wife is waiting. Coyote goes with the hope that he might return his beloved to the land of the living so they may take up their lives once more. Perhaps odd to the logical mind, there is something captured in this story that reflects the experience of loss and the hope that often comes with it. Be sure to check out Part 1 to hear the story.
Coyote and the Shadow People: Understanding Death Part 1
Trickster stories have a funny way of turning what we think we know, upside-down. This provides us with an opportunity to challenge our assumptions and question our thinking. In this weeks episode, Michael lays the groundwork for a conversation with end-of-life-counselor, teacher, and filmmaker, Dr. Martha Jo Atkins (in Part 2). But first, here's your opportunity to have your own experience with this coyote story from the Nez Perce people of the Pacific Northwest. In it, Coyote travels with Death to the land of the Shadow People, offering us insights as to how death as we know it came in to being and some subtle clues about what may be going on beyond the sight of the living.
Fools Rush In: How To Be With A Story
Having great stories to engage with is important but it's all for naught if you don't know how to "be" with them. Most of us have been taught to dismantle stories. To break them apart and down into their essential parts in hopes of discovering the soul that dwells within. But it doesn't work that way. On this episode of Story Mischief, Michael explores a new (old) way of being with a story. Encouraging the old idea that the story knows what to do if we are willing to make space and let it.
Magic in audio form
Michael is one of the most brilliant storytellers I’ve ever heard. His capacity to bring myth (and mischief) to life is a true gift. I get lost in every episode.