Storytelling Magic

I'm told stories are everywhere, and since I've never been lacking a good story, I believe this saying to be fact. Life is one big story, and just because writers find a creative way to tell them, doesn’t mean that everyone isn’t a storyteller.

I’ve had a busy month which is why I haven’t been blogging lately. Not only did I attend a funeral of someone very dear and close to me, I spent a few days in the hospital.
What amazed me was the storytelling going on. At the funeral, everyone wanted to share stories; colourful, bold, funny, and moving ones. It was endless and it felt wonderful to share these magical anecdotes about our loved one. Most of the storytellers held my hand while they talked, and they’d get a dreamy look in their eyes as if reliving it right in front of me. These stories made us laugh, cry, but most importantly, they brought us together.
At the hospital it was almost a competition to see whose stories were the most out there or got the most chuckles. I was practically climbing on that stupid rolling table I was so excited by what I was hearing and learning. These storytellers paced the room around my bed and used their entire face and body to make their stories come alive. They forgot where they were supposed to be or where they were and just relished in the captive audience that was me, and sometimes a few others. They told tales about fairies and gnomes. They told real stories about their life and people or places we had in common. All were magical tales that brought us closer.
I learnt so much about total strangers; how their stories are told, and how they hold an impact on my life. I met people who knew my loved ones-- at both places. I met people who love life-- at both places.

I always say we need to write every day, but sometimes we need to listen to stories too. Magic like that brings us back to our childhood and our roots. It teaches us something that other art forms lack.

After all, storytelling is the first magical craft we all master. Before we could draw, before we learnt to write or read, we told stories about our day, about how we saw the world. Snuggled in bed at night, my daughter and I used to rewrite her favourite movies. She rewrote The Lion King so Mufasa didn't die. It was a wonderful tale. My son is six and tells me magical stories about how he saved the world today. Not one word of it is true (I hope he doesn't own a jet pack anyway) but they are pretty fun stories to listen to, sci-fi at their best. 

Was it the first craft our ancestors mastered too? What more could they do but sit around the fire at night and share stories about their day? Learn from each other in a magical way? Storytelling is a tool to entertain, bond, grieve, and teach. Somehow this craft loses weight in the social media world I've suddenly tumbled into, but my experiences this month brought me back to the basics of my beliefs; 

I believe we all have a story to tell 
and we each have a way of telling it 
that brings it to life in a magical way.

It's not in the audience that the storyteller finds the purpose behind their stories.
It's not from the storyteller that the audience will get the entire truth.
There is a magic that happens between the two that makes storytelling powerful nonetheless,
and both are left with a sense of truth that brings purpose to their life.
You hear any good stories lately? Where were you? What makes a good storyteller? Is it the plot, the characters, the way the story is told? Or is it the audience listening with their entire body that makes a great storyteller?
Have you told a story today? Stop reading, stop drawing, stop writing, and tap into your storytelling skills. Make someone laugh, cry, or just stare at you in awe. Just share the magic. It’s a blessing to be able to remember your tale, and no one will share it quite like you. Before you know it, you'll be the audience. amazing.
Have fun storytelling today.


Vicki Tremper said...

I love listening to my boys tell stories. Some are real (and I know because the five-year-old gets a special light in his eyes and says, "For real.") and some are not, but each one tells it in his own special way. You're right - that's magic.


Victoria Lindstrom said...

Tanya - Thanks for reminding us that there is always a story behind the story! Keeping our hearts and minds open is a great way to see a tale at every turn. I hope you are feeling okay - blessings to you in the wake of losing someone dear. Great post, friend!

Tanya Reimer said...

Vicki, hugs back and thanks for sharing.

Victoria, aw thanks. It has been a tough month but I am stronger for it. Hope all is well with you!

Reece said...

About every month or two my wife and I get together with her sister and a bunch of our college friends for dinner. Suffice it to say, every time we get together, the stories flow like water down hill! Our friend Brandon is particularly vocal. He's a classic case of adult ADD (maybe even ADHD, but I don't know for sure) and has a degree in film (among his 3 or 4 other degrees). He always has something fun to share...usually at least one story every ten minutes! Makes for a really fun evening!

Lauri said...

I love this post! Such an ode to the power and healing and magic of stories.

Richard said...

Stories can also grow and change, getting better with time and the retelling.

Tanya Reimer said...

Heeehee! Reece you had me giggling like a fool. I just love THOSE guys! Everyone needs a friend like that.

Healing. Thanks Lauri, that's it exactly!

Oh-My-Gosh Richard you are so right! Ever notice how the story is never ever told the same the second, third or forth time? It just keeps getting better with revisions! LOL!

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

What a wonderful post, Tanya. I appreciated especially your point that it's the interaction between teller and listener that makes the story work.

As for hearing some good stories lately, yesterday, at Thanksgiving dinner, lots of stories went around the table, along with lots of laughter. One of the things I love so much about the holiday.

Sorry to hear you were in the hospital, hope all is well now.

Tanya Reimer said...

Oh Elizabeth, thanks for reminding us that get holidays are wonderful opportunities for storytelling.

Arlee Bird said...

You have certainly had quite a time of late. Hopefully the months ahead will be filled with better things.

Stories are everywhere. I always enjoy listening to the stories that other people have to tell. You are so right about keeping ones ears open to hear the great stories that people tell.

Enjoy my delightful interview with Susan Kane on
Wrote By Rote Saturday 11/26

Erin Kane Spock said...

I know someone who really wants to be a story teller but, really, just takes a 30 piece of information stretches it out into oblivion. Here's to the story tellers that know how to tell a story.

Teresa Cypher aka T K CypherBuss said...

Nice post, Tanya. I agree--the connection we (story-teller and reader) make with one another is nothing short of magic. At least that is the goal.

Stories are everywhere. My husband sometimes thinks I am such a gabby-guss, talking to complete strangers the way I do, but I can't help it. I listen to stories. I think that writers are likely the biggest empaths (did I just make up a word???) that exist. We pick up on fine nuances while we listen to others, we are keenly aware of subtle changes in tone and inflection, we absorb like sponges...and then we are inspired by what we hear, the sorrow, the courage, the joy, the humor... I just love to hear that one of my tales has made someone cry, blush, laugh...

Yep, writing is an addiction... Living inside my mind with fictional characters chattering back and forth is my illness. And my illness is fueled by every story I've heard or witnessed in the making.

Oh, here I am, being a gabby-guss :-) I will stop back again.

Elizabeth said...

Great post.