Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day Three, Saundra

Yet another day of storytelling, this one filled with small challenges which yielded big results; silly things like making a triangle and a square at the same time, but was it silly? At first, it felt silly but fun, but obviously (at least for me . . .) this task was a brain stimlator. The brain must be tantalized and given tasks with which it may be unfamiliar, but which are not beyond its reach. The goal to be able to think as we tell makes sense to me; it is something about which I worry on occassion: what happens when I am in a group of tellers and someone else tells my tale before me? From what pocket in my memory can I draw a new story when I feel the audience isn't ready for the one I have prepared?

One of my favorite exercises in today's line-up, was that of making up new words. As each person defined the word, I found my word growing and becoming and on two occassions, was elated to discover that at least two people were incredibly close to what I was thinking! Did that come from learning to tune to those around us, or was it simply that our words took on more definition as we heard others around discuss them?

The experience of movement accompanied by words was definitly one of expansion for me: awareness of place; sense of balance; interaction with others; love of sight and sound.
As for Yashinsky, I think I'm reading too far ahead . . .where should we be at this point? My reading took me into Letting the Story Through and then to Emergency Storytelling where he describes the birth of Jacob, his son.

In Letting the Story Through, Yashinsky provides the reader with four guiding principles paraphrased here as:
  1. Our listeners wish to see the story, not us
  2. When the witch screams in our stories, we do not have to physically scream.
  3. Storytelling is a dance between suspense and revelation
  4. Storytelling is the most boring art in the world. (Really?)

Emergency Storytelling showed me the necessity for the brain gym exercise: when things come our way that are either unfamiliar or frightening, we may be challenged to provide a story 'off the cuff' even though our hearts are grieving or we are frightened. When Yashinsky's son Jacob was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his leg, the author reached into the depths of his soul to retrieve stories that sang of strength; his son, as he grew up, was attracted to the stories he had heard since birth and embodied them in his self-concept.

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