Sunday, March 22, 2015

Storying the Landscape

In ancient times a story, a place and a time of year walked hand in hand. Now those of us who are tradition tellers need to bring that possibility to the landscapes that surround us. I call this work Living Myth Events.

When working on a Living Myth Event I try to match not just a location but a time of year. This is a tool of the ancients- not just where but when. I choose a time of year when a traditional celebration was held. Often story has already played a part.

So far I have held three major Living Myth events:

Millennium LabyrinTh with its elements of the Theseus myth. In this event twin Ariadnes guided subway commuters inside the Boston MBTA safely into the Millennium; In the Groves an annual event at the Summer Solstice with collaborator harper Margot Chamberlain in which tree myths and songs celebrate the large tree sanctuary of Arnold Arboretum; and now Flora's Holiday at Tower Hill Botanic Garden celebrating the first days of May and flowers.

Don't forget what you are storying! In this case our walking singing May Day journey focuses is on vast areas filled with unusual Flowers.

Flora's Holiday!
Where: Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA truly a springtime paradise of blossoms.
When: May 1st and 2nd the highlight of Flora's ancient festival.
What: Flower myths, legends and songs.

Join Us!

Monday, March 2, 2015


I've been so fortunate to be invited to exchange stories with master storyteller Jay O'Callahan on a regular basis. I meet with him at 7:30 AM - that's when he begins rehearsal! Sometimes he's been for an ocean swim before we meet! Because of his great gifts he is often asked to commemorate occasions with a story and he was working on one when last we met. The short poetic celebrations of people he creates often involve rhyme and it inspired me to write one for an upcoming event for Gerry Wright's 80th birthday (Gerry is a well know conservationist and social justice advocate who is also my neighbor!) I was amazed at how rhyming helped bring out what I wanted to say in an unusual way and made it Sparkle. Here's what I wrote about my 'cross the street' encounters with Gerry. Someone we also affectionately call "The Prophet." Gerry always speaks in cryptic phrases that you think you should understand! The photo is of him portraying Frederick Law Olmstead in his one person show.

Gerry as Olmstead

When Gerry is your Neighbor

Gerry calls out:
“Let’s meet across the river!”
The "river" is our street.
We meet on an embankment.
No subject too discreet.

"That’s It! That’s It! That’s IT!" he cries!
Though what “it” is you can’t surmise,
For Gerry Wright is more than wise
Esoteric truth -no compromise!
Yes, food for thought that is your prize
When Gerry is your neighbor.