"Tell me a story" is the request of young and old alike. The word reverberates in our minds and we are transported to the past — recalling our favorite fairy tales, tall tales, and romantic adventures. Meanwhile, our culture puts before us an amazing array of stories in television shows, films, books, plays, records, and the internet. We pick and choose among them, and through our selections fashion the story of our own lives. We complete the process when we decide what parts of our story to share with others. Christina Baldwin is the perfect person to help us negotiate through story land. Her books One to One: Self-Understanding through Journal Writing and Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest have helped many people gain a clearer picture of the inward quest for meaning.

Each of us is a natural-born storyteller and a storycatcher. Baldwin coaches us in the art and craft of doing both in this sturdy and helpful resource. She examines the ways families can share stories or conceal them, and what this can do to us. She recalls her experience during the traumatic 13 days of the Cuban missile crisis when the future of the planet hung in the balance. She looks at the dialogue between a brother who went to Vietnam and his sister who was a peacenik. In the stories of a young woman in Africa, an old woman in Arizona, a visionary Danish friend, and two Episcopal priests, Baldwin shows how story connects with meaning, challenges us to clarify our values, opens us up to new experiences, and influences the spiritual dimensions of our lives.

The author quotes a parting blessing used among the Tzutujil Indians of Guatemala: "Long life, honey in the heart, no evil, and thirteen thank yous." After reading Baldwin's helpful advice, you will want to send the same blessing back to her.