Posts Tagged ‘storytelling’

The Story Told By The Medicine Man’s Son: Revolutionary ImproVerse Haiku

July 8, 2014

“What are you doing?!”/
I heard the same voice as he,/
I knew the answer.

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A New Christmas Story: Revolutionary Email Prose

December 25, 2010

A friend asked me how my Christmas Eve was going. I shared what happened early on Christmas Morning (specifically, from about midnight to about 1:15 a.m.).
Some historical background: The Provo Tabernacle, owned by the LDS Church, was built as a meeting house in 1883. On the national register of historic places, it regularily had church meetings (including many my daughter went to), concerts, recitals, graduations and other similar events. The woodwork and interior were fantastic examples of pioneer craftsmanship.
On Dec. 17-18 2010, a 4-alarm fire gutted the historic building, destroying the interior and causing the roof to collapse.
As I was thinking about what to do Christmas Eve, I thought about the building, about how many Christmas concerts had been held there… and how sad it was that there wouldn’t be one this year.
So I decided to create my own. In the spirit of Art Everywhere, and the flash dance craze, I thought “I’ll go to the park next to the Tabernacle and sing Christmas carols … an improv Christmas concert.” This is what happened: It’s my Christmas story.

T’was the night before Christmas, and at 11:50 p.m. I went down to the corner of Center and University in Provo (by the Provo Tabernacle). I put the top down on my convertible, stood up on my seat, put some Christmas CDs in, and sang/caroled to the cars going by. A friend joined me; we sang loudly and not half bad. We had a lot of people smile, wave at us, and wish us a Merry Christmas. A few people even stopped and joined us. We ended with “Silent Night”, and then I receited the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke.
Then, as I was driving by the burnt-out Tabernacle, I felt prompted to stop, pull over to the side of the street in front of the Tabernacle (there being no “No Parking” signs there), stand up in my car, and tell the Christmas story, again, to the rafters and shattered windows and broken doors and blackened walls.
As the story reverberated through those walls one final time, where it had so often been heard before, I reached the part where shepherds kept watch over their flocks by night.
As I spoke how “…suddenly, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them…” a bright light shown in my own eyes.
It was the security guard with her flashlight.
I continued telling the story.
“And there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts … ”
“That’s nice, but you can’t park there.”
“… praising God and saying:”
“Sir, you have to move, you can’t park your car there”
so I ended the story by looking at her, smiling, and quoting Luke:
“Glory to God on high, and on Earth, peace, good will toward men.”
And then I sat down in my car, smiled again, said “Merry Christmas!” and drove away.

The Muse’s Life Exposes My Dream: Revolutionary Email Prose

November 30, 2010

I suggested a meeting.
It is unusual.
She might think it’s silly.
The idea came after she told me about her planned week.
The desire came after she said she couldn’t meet on Tuesday or Wednesday because she was busy.
And then she told me what she was doing.
When I suggested what we could do, she maybe thought I was just trying to be nice.
Trying to be with her.
Attempting to meet her half way.

But what she didn’t know…
What she couldn’t know …
Is that her daily existence
Has been my vision,
My dream,
For decades.

She, daily, does what I’ve wanted to do:
– Helping children read
– Teaching children to write
– Showing through example how to learn, how to comprehend, how to express feelings and thoughts and desires and actions, from generation to generation,
As storytellers, written and oral, had done for centuries.
As my storytelling parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and other relatives and done in Wisconsin, Canada, Germany, Norway for years

Taking that observational, sharing, teaching gift and passing it on,
Was something I treasured doing
As my own children grew in their suburban – yet surprisingly diverse and ethnic – elementary schools,
Telling stories my ancestors,
And ancestors of others,
Had told for centuries,
Watching their young faces light up,
Seeing their eyes grow wide with wonder and understanding as I explained how the redwinged blackbird perched and warbling on a cattail, benefited from the muskrat house nearby, how the insects it ate flocked to that house because of the scent and the leftovers and the dung, and how the muskrat family owed a debt to the bird there, who stood as unknowing, unpaid sentinel, warning of approaching danger,
Having the teachers and parents and children exclaim “How do you KNOW that?!?”, realizing I’d learned it from my father and his parents and aunts and uncles and cousins, in the marshes of the upper Midwest.

She didn’t know that my dream, my vision, developed them, and still is now, to take young, impressionable inner-city youth out into the woods, streams, lakes, rivers, marshes — any wild places — and teach them to observe, to listen, to see, to smell, to watch and gaze at nothing at all, to hear themselves think, far away from the grittiness and noise and hustle of the city, to show them how to feel warm and cold and nature and silence and the symphony.
And then to teach those young people to write, to draw, to word or ink sketch or story tell their visions, their observations, their lessons, so that the oral traditions would continue.

She doesn’t know that, what she does every day, I yearn to do.
That when people ask me: “What would you do, if you could?”
the answer is always:
Exactly what she does.
She might think it’s odd that I want to join her in opening the children’s eyes to the world of possibility and observation.
She might think it strange that I would love to sit and read and write and tell stories not just to them, but with them.
She wouldn’t know that it’s not just a great meeting.
It’s a great life.
And it’s where I’m headed, someday.

Trusting Me In Story: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Poem

May 13, 2010

I told her about U,/
of the 1st story we shared,/
back when U/
asked 2b grounded,/
and I surrounded/
U with a warm sea breeze./
U fell asleep./
“She trusted U.”

Tell Me A Story: Revolutionary Email Poetry

March 28, 2010

“Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a far and distant land, unbeknownst to you and I, there lived … ”
Oh, wait. You asked me to TELL you a story, not write one. Sorry.

Storytales to be told/
require the teller to be bold/
and regale face to face/
at someone’s home/
(or, in technology’s case/
over the phone)/
the story interesting and witty/
to the audience fair and pretty.
Without a phone number/
or a place to meet,/
I can’t give the requested/
storytelling treat.

But if you’ll provide the information/
I’ll tell you a storytelling sensation!