Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 117

ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION Unsplash/Patrick Fore Animal Allies: Healing and Empowering Children BRENDA PETERSON M “ Y IMAGINARY FRIEND REALLY LIVED . . . once,” the Latina teenage girl began, head bent, her fingers twisting her long, black hair. She stood in the circle of other adolescents gathered in my Seattle Arts and Lectures storytelling class. Here were kids from all over the city—every color and class, all strangers one to another. Over the next two weeks we would become VOL. 34, NO. 1 a fierce tribe, telling our own and our tribe’s story. Our first assignment was to introduce our imaginary friends from childhood. This shy fourteen-year- old girl, Sarah, had struck me on the first day because she always sat next to me, as if under my wing, and though her freckles and stylish clothes suggested she was a popular girl, her demeanor showed the detachment of someone deeply preoccupied. She never met my eye, nor did she join in the first few days of storytelling when the ten boys © 2019 TIKKUN MAGAZINE 117