Stories From Silence
Have you ever stopped being enchanted by stories?
I feel stories as superfood nourishment that protect us from the diseases of manufactured thought. I do not believe we were born to be cloned, and I am sure stories can protect us from that.
On the other pole, our human addiction to the served up manufactured mentality seems to be our instinctive response to being social creatures. It is not surprising to see our behaviour revealed through the multi copy and paste trends we indulge in on Facebook and Twitter.
Us humans do have a remarkable imagination intelligence to tell stories from. I believe we still need to, and never stop, to survive. This can seem like nonsense as there seems to be no reason and probably no science to back that up.
But that sterile Logic we habit into cannot reveal secrets to us.
Logic cannot ignite the spirit that gives us vision to express and create.
Some of us may deny it, but we seem to have a built-in need for stories, but how should they be told?
There is quite a call out to be like the old Filé lads and keep the stories word for word to pass down. we are told they would not remain ‘traditional’ if we did not do that.
If this was true, then I do not think we would understand them. Language, any language, has changed over 100s of years. Maybe the only stable one is Latin, but who could bear a story told in Latin?
Of course, there is always dance, mime, clapping, and tone chanting. We can all do those and be understood anywhere.
To me, a story evolves to become a prophecy of our present. Even the Christmas pantomimes using stories of 100s of years ago somehow features the current politicians, and maybe the local doctor and publican.
Popular themes for stories still seems to be battles,
divisions of good guys and bad guys, and the good guy acquisitions happy endings. But note these are usually the white lads stories. A native story seems to bring in a lot of animals, birds, and their cunning, but not acquisition deeds.
Thinking of the classic Irish story, The Tain. There’s jealousy between, Meabh and Ailill over cattle, battles to prevent acquisition of the Brown Bull of Cooley, and the bull fight of egos at the end of the story.
For one, little is spoken of about how after all of the fighting someone had the great idea of driving a bunch of cows into the bull’s pasture, calling them out again, and the bull naturally followed, all the way to Rathcroghan.
There is a modern usefulness in the Tain story, as told by some tellers today. This tale including the equality between Meabh and Ailill that she strived to achieve. Some tell of Maebh taking on extreme leadership too.
The meaning of their names is quite profound too.
In those days people were not given names to be registered, “that’s a nice name”, kind of thing. They earned their names, given by others, as descriptions of their deeds, looks, and the landscapes they lived in.
Meabh is short for describing an intoxicator, while Ailill is short for describing an enchanter. Intoxicator vs Enchanter? Well that should inspire some storytelling for a start.
Some people can be more blunt and describe their relationship as Lust vs Romance. Some say Witch vs Elf. I have heard ‘woman of the earth’ vs ‘god from the sky’, hence brown bull vs white bull. Quite a description of the possible conflict in faith between the matriarchal of the earth and patriarchal of the sky.
I have never really liked the battle stories of mythology as they were often told within the framework of modern warfare.
Today we seem to have the industrialist, well more like the banker capitalist now, who buys, bribes or blackmails the minister politicians. These ministers, verified by their secret agencies, invent and justify a war based on defending the nation and its values.
This demands 1000s of mother’s sons to risk their lives going into battle, ‘defending’. Then when it is all over and peace declared the industrialist or banker moves in to create a regime of slavery, and acquires the resources of the nation or tribe ‘lost’.
I really do not like the mythology stories portraying that frame of story, especially when those stories are clouded with words like ‘honour’, ‘hero’, and ‘overcoming evil’.
On the other side, we cannot be truthful and effective as storytellers just from telling of love, peace, and the jolly guru.
I am often reminded of the three ‘trais’,
... pronounced ‘trees’ of the bard.
Goltrai of the sorrow
Geantrai of the joy
Suantrai of the dreaming, the sleeping.
The ‘trais’ refer to the enhancement of music that bards would play or accompany their stories.
Stories seem to be a cycle of sorrow, joy, and dreaming, and back to sorrow again. To me this is just like weather cycles of cloud to sun warmth and enchantment from colour spectrums from both of them.
I think we need to be very careful
with the narrative of stories.
I feel we need more stories of connection rather than acquisition and locking up of ‘bad guys’. I often wonder who on earth judges who are ‘bad dudes’. The storyteller wields that power of enchanting us with believing those boundaries.
I believe we need to tell each other more stories about balance and equilibrium, more stories of love, forgiveness and compassion.
Do we need Hero stories that behind all the pomp, valour, and loyalty is merely acquisition that leaves others without, because they are judged as the ‘bad dudes’.
We are enchanted into believing that living in a castle with servants and abundant rumpy pumpy is ‘happily ever after’, and much better than living in the dirty ugly evil woods with trees and life.
Rather than heroes, can we have
more mentors and mediators
in our stories please?
Do we want our listeners to become super heroes? Super heroes, those beings who put on capes and robes, lead our world, make decisions for us, and all we can do is complain when they seem to feck up?
Could we excite our listeners to be part of a connected circle of mediation and exchange? Does that have to seem boring?
Stories, to me, are experiences of when our cold empty hearth is ignited by the conceptual fire of life’s spirit. As it is fuelled and burns, the story evolves from its vapour like an enchanted snake.
Stories are our decoding of secrets of life’s mystery. The connect with others through our imaginative weaving of landscapes, characters and their deeds.
That cold hearth within us, where this all starts, is that coire, that cauldron of silence. It is contemplation in a space that draws to us the lightening of spirit fire that strikes us and guides us.
The best starting point for story is silence and contemplation in a space.
That is actually another quest we offer within the Tree Labyrinth of Carrowcrory here. I am actually writing this article during the quiet of the lunar eclipse.
Story comes from the silent wilding of ourselves. It does not really come from the indulgence of within a ‘live happily ever after’ castle, but, for me, much better in a relaxed space among or close to trees.
With our pure silent hearth ready, all it can attract is truth through the conceptual fire that arrives.
When the sparks and fire arrives, it speaks a silent language older than words. I believe it is the same language as the spirit of the trees, plants, rivers, springs, and pools around us.
It may seem that this truth cannot be put into words. It is a totally tantric experience, if we allow this.
For this reason I feel that storytelling should be love. Love itself is pure, but we live it through sorrow, joy and dreaming. Its not a totally nicey, nicey, experience, but it could not be one of jealousy, rage, and dominance either.
Some may describe the birth of a story,
from silence, as a re-animation of our soul.
So, to go all instruction manual now, I suggest find a sacred space, and of course I would love to plug that our Labyrinth Gardens are available for you between the Equinoxes.
This needs to be a space that you trust, that you know spirit, consciousness, your guide, whatever speaks to you with the arrival of sparks and ignition.
By doing this you are the closest to being a hero. I do not like the ‘hero’ word myself. I can accept it if it means the courage to accept the truth through spirit, through consciousness. Then take that ‘gift’ out to share and connect with people. A ‘hero’ may be someone who can do that without chopping off some of their heads and controlling the rest of the ‘peasants’.
Be silent, receive the spark, interpret it, write, journal, draw, paint, make a sculpture, then share it with others in a sharing and connected way. We nourishingly need to embrace and connect the fire interpretations of others too.
To me, that becomes the ultimate fire dance.
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