The film Moana completely blew me away when I saw it on Easter weekend this year - Admittedly I was a bit behind the times, but it is an amazing film - great songs, funny characters, and, at its heart, a story about who we are and discovering freedom in that.
For me, as someone who is involved in developing spiritual communities in the Christian Church, outside of the normal framework - it spoke to me of leaving the safety of established church to try living in a new way.
Anyways - I wanted to use the story of Moana, take a part of it and parabalize it. The results are below -
There was once a child who lived in a village on an island in the middle of the sea.
The child’s people had lived in the village for as long as many could remember.
They all knew their place, and all had their roles.
The fishers fished.
The farmers farmed.
The hunters hunted.
The cooks cooked.
The guards guarded.
The dancers danced.
The teachers taught.
The judges judged.
The leaders led.
Everyone in the village knew everyone else and they all knew they had everything they needed.
Food to eat.
Water to drink.
Roles to perform.
Traditions to uphold.
The songs they sang were songs their ancestors had sung for as long as anyone could remember.
The dances they danced were the dances their ancestors had danced for as long as anyone could remember.
The stories they told were the stories their ancestors had told for as long as anyone could remember.
The one story everyone knew was that beyond the island, out on the sea, there were monsters, and terrors, and danger, and death.
So no-one left the island.
Why would they?
They had everything they needed.
But the child felt different.
The child looked to the sea and felt excited.
The child looked to the sea and their heart ached.
The child looked to the sea and their skin prickled with electricity.
The child longed to see how far the horizon went.
The child longed to know how deep the light from the sun dived into the deep.
The child longed to ride the waves and harness the breeze.
But, the child stayed.
Because everyone knew that beyond the island, out on the sea, there were monsters, and terrors, and danger, and death.
So the Child stayed.
one day the fishers returned from the sea saying, “The fish have all gone and our nets are empty.”
And the farmers returned from their fields saying, “The crops are failing and our baskets are empty.”
So the child said, “We must go out onto the sea and find fish and food.”
But all the people said, “No! You know the stories. You know everyone knows that out on the sea, there are monsters, and terrors, and danger, and death.”
Then the child looked around at the empty baskets, and the empty nets, and the scared faces of the people and saw that, while out on the sea there may be monsters, and terror, and dangers and death, on their island there was a different danger, a different fear.
A fear of change.
A fear of loss.
A fear of adventure.
A danger of withering away.
So that night, when it was dark and quiet, the child crept from the village to the shore.
They meant to take a boat and sail away to find help. To find fish and food. To save their people.
But, as they reached a boat, the Child was stopped by the oldest villager.
The oldest villager was on the shore, dancing with the sea, splashing in the waves.
Many in the village called the oldest villager mad, but the oldest villager didn’t care.
They liked to dance, and they liked the water.
The oldest villager smiled saying,
“Child, I want you to know, I want you to know you are not mad for wanting to do what you are about to do. You are not wrong to do what you are about to do. Long, long ago, and for many generations, generation upon generation, our people did not just live on this island. We did not just stay on this island. We were voyagers.
We sailed the sea and found new island after new island after new island. We named every star and used them to plot our way. We knew who we were and where we were.
We were voyagers.”
And then, the Child knew they had to go. That is was the only way to save their people.
And as they pushed the boat out into the sea, and felt the breeze on their face, and saw the moon on the water,
they knew who they were.