Work we talked about this week:
XY Story Formula:
I’m doing a story about Celine, who has trust issues, caused by a troubled relationship with her distant father, who is an egocentric dreamer.
This is interesting, because when Celine takes the challenge to raise two wild baby boars (a mission with dim chances for a happy ending), she needs to move in with her dad on his farm, and confront, that her father’s romantic recklessness might be something they both have in common.
Celine is determined to never let anybody get too close to her, especially her father, who somehow always ends up hurting her. But then during a visit to her father’s farm, an orphan wild baby boar, named Gustav, decides to adopt Celine as his replacement mom.
Like everybody else she knows from the beginning, that raising a male wild boar is a stupid and possibly dangerous idea, but she can’t help it, and immediately supports her father in doing so.
Therefore the two of them bond for the first time, which leads to her getting over herself and moving in with her dad. It’s the only way she can take care of and protect little Gustav, since her dad is constantly travelling.
When a couple weeks later her dad picks her up to bring her to a second wild baby boar, she realizes, she’s up to her neck into something she won’t be able to control.
Willi, the second boar is very sick, and so frightened that the people who found him are scared of him. But when Celine lets the ballistic boar out of his cage, like Gustav, Willi immediately decides that she must be a safe place, and with a sigh and completely exhausted he falls asleep on her legs.
Now Celine is caught between a rock and a hard place. If she takes him in, she won’t be able to have enough time to train little Gustav properly, just like the real life mom she never wanted to be, only with possibly much worse consequences. But if she doesn’t take Willi, he quite probably will die. To top it all, wild boars are known to kill and not accept other boars from different sounders.
Lacking any other options, she takes him in. And after it takes much longer time and effort than expected to nurse Willi back to health, she even manages to bring the two boars together. The whole summer she enjoys long everyday walks with her boars in the woods, which make her feel a certain happiness she thought impossible. But while the boars keep digging up all the roots in the garden, also old family issues keep coming to light. Various times Celine thinks she shouldn’t stay, but where could she move now, bringing two wild baby boars along?
Finally, you wouldn’t believe it, but Gustav and Willi keep growing like crazy and already after 6 months they confront Celine with her decision, that a short happy life, hopefully is better than none. Gustav, as you could expect from a poor spoilt first “child” thrown down from his throne, grows up to be quite challenging and jealous, while fearful little Willi, now is an incredibly trusting cuddle boar. Even though she managed to convince her dad to let her castrate both, which wasn’t easy, the boars start fighting in ways that sometimes don’t seem so playful anymore. Celine knows that soon she probably won’t be able to control Gustav anymore, and that because of it, their long walks in the woods should come to an end. But imagining a future life for the boars devoid of all the freedom and happiness she experienced with them in the forest, is just too much to take for her. That’s why she ignores all warning signs and keeps going out with the boars into the woods. She just hopes for the best, something she used to have loads of trouble with. That’s when she realizes, that her father, who’s recklessness she always resented, might be the only one, who can understand her dilemma, and that this time she will need his support.
And the reason this matters to everyone walking the face of the earth is, that we all have the tendency to judge the people around us based on our own personal hurt feelings, which keeps us from connecting to, loving and seeing who we and the others really are, despite all of our shortcomings. Like Celine we might resent and fear in others, what is actually our own dark side, we refuse to deal with. But if we do, dark places can suddenly turn to light, and even if they don’t, we might at least have gained a friend, not afraid to sit with us in said darkness to hold us a candle.
Links to the things we talked about:
Céline’s Boars on Youtube
Out on the Wire 1.5: Workshop (Roxanne Palmer’s Story)
This American Life 355: The Giant Pool of Money