A teller or writer of stories, a weaver of tales….
The definition of a storyteller is rather simple. However, if you look beyond that, you will find that explaining WHAT a storyteller is, can be a story in itself.
Storytelling has changed in form over its history. Once seen as an oral tradition to preserve the customs, legends and past of the culture from where it originated, storytelling has evolved to the written word and in our modern times, shared on film and other media. The oral storytelling of the past however, is not lost, but now is a part of this beautiful, extended family.
Who can be a storyteller? Well, anyone really. From your grandfather, who shares tales of his youth, to Hollywood’s most famous names, sharing tales of fantasy.
I believe that ALL stories, even the most fantastical ones, are rooted in a truth. After all, they explore the elements of human emotion (love, hate, fear, etc.), that we all can relate to, no matter where we come from.
Even many of the myths that we know today, started as a very real part of history.
If you’ve known me for any length of time, then you know that I love horror. Did you know that the modern vampire myth is not only attributed to the history of Vlad the Impaler, or even Bram Stoker, but to the tragedy of people who were accidently buried alive? Tales of corpses being unearthed (when it was rumoured that the town/village had visits from the undead), would find the coffin covered in scratches and blood, with signs of growth of the hair and nails (which continue to grow for a period after death). Here is an example of where fact meets fiction. This infamous legend grew from the fears and superstitions of the time, leading to the tales that we know today.
(And yes…they did cut off the heads to make sure that the undead didn’t come back).
One of the greatest gifts that we have, is the ability to share ourselves through our stories. Storytelling is not limited by race, gender, culture or religion. From the most nomadic, ancient tribe, to the grandest performances of the theatre and film. From a simple children’s tale, to epic stories of adventures, storytelling is what connects all of us.
That’s why I love to write. My bookcase is full of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, folktales from Newfoundland and Ireland, collections by H.G. Wells and Hans Christian Andersen. I guess that I feel that writing stories, allows me to be a part of a tradition that has existed for millennia, and will continue to do so until our sun goes BOOM! and we all once again become cosmic dust.
So, thank you to the storytellers. From the ones who huddled around ancient fires, to those whose books and dvds fill my home. Thank you for sharing your passion, your culture, and for keeping alive our imagination.
Text © Written In Geek blog (2017) All rights reserved
Pictures © Written In Geek blog, used with subject’s permission or under public domain (2017)- feature image courtesy of Pixabay