January 16, 2013

Storytelling: A Lost Art.

Many great authors, who have graced our presence over the years, have either passed on, gone into retirement or churned out one amazing bestseller that still stands the test of time; some have even continued to perfect their craft in ways that are unique to the current climate of novels and publications.

These authors do tell a story—and a story is anyone sharing an experience. An experience of love, laughter, wisdom, tragedy, grief, awesomeness and everything beyond.

Every article published, blog announcement or new enterprise, is that person telling their story in some form or fashion. It may be dressed up in grandstanding, or blurt out in some comical way—or even said in an inspirational quote.

The point is that it matters to that person; it’s their story. And, whatever is said or written, will be passed down into the next generation.

We’ve been doing it for years and it started in B.C., with big fat tomes. Now, I’m not pushing religion, by any means, but it was someone’s words out there that left an incredible impression on society. So much so, that our entire world depends on others’ words written to know how to behave and what to believe; every generation lives and dies by what is written.

Your grandfather, grandmother, mother, father and many generations before them, have so many stories to tell.

Do we listen? Do we care?

I think it would be beneficial to many in our society to sit down with a storyteller of any generation and be mesmerized by their many experiences.

I’m still amazed at the words of Ernest Hemingway and the artwork of Van Gogh; these legendary artists had a story to tell and their own way of telling it.

It was art to them in those days…and it’s an art to me now.

These masters of their craft aren’t simply trying to sell you on something; they are passing along a worthwhile experience and memory that has tremendous value. I want to believe that most of the movies and books these days have a message, beyond the obvious: Is it daring? Is it extreme? Is it inspirational? Does it make you think?

That’s what a story is; it gives you the opportunity to think.

It’s difficult to find anyone in the world who does not have something to tell, something to share, some experience to transcend.

Storytelling, the simple truth and honesty behind the art, is a treasure; we hang on, we have hope and we want to believe.

Old musicians, who make a rather loud comeback from time-to-time, might still have a story to tell in their lyrics. Yes, the money for them is attractive, but with the world changing at such a rapid pace, any older generation artist feels a revival, and has something to say in this new generation. Not always, but their profound words still have the ability to move us. They might be relics, but there is a message.

Storytellers are necessary; this lost art has passion.

Whenever a story is told with compelling resonance, people gather, listen, take in what they can, dispense what knowledge they can pass on, and so the story goes…….

My grandfather was a tremendous storyteller.

At dinnertime, when my grandparents were in town and participating in all the activities of the younger generations, they would inevitably sit at the head of the table, bow their heads in reverence and thanks for the meal then tell their story of days gone by.

Papa would rub his hands together, as all of our bodies leaned into the table with an attentive ear, tell his stories of the war, or how his amazing garden got started, or the significance of Niagara Falls. We listened, mainly because he was such a disciplinarian that we sort of had to, otherwise we might have had to pull extra duty shucking the barrage of fresh corn that was always at hand. But, we didn’t care.

It was the story, night after night, that held our attention; it always captivated the children. So much so, that we can still tell that story from eons ago, and the message is communicated once again.

The value is savored in those authentic words and will never be lost again.

It may take years to absorb the quality of the story, but it does seep into the blood and veins of our being; that is the bottom line of any story.

Being present for the moment, grateful for the experience and honoring the art.




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Ed: Bryonie Wise


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