Guest Post written for Granny’s Sue’s BlogBy: Amy Eller, StoriesWork Board Member since 2011
Sitting in the presence of a Storyteller, we are given permission to travel, deep within ourselves, to a place a the center of our cellular being, that remembers the old ways. Our ancestors, all the way back to the beginning of human time were storytellers. Sitting by fires. Working in fields. Smoking a pipe or sharing teas made from the plants of the Earth. Our ancestors were always telling their stories to each other. They communicated through story. They learned lessons through story. They coped with problems by telling stories. They healed their hearts when they heard stories. They built communities based on stories.Without story, where would our human race be today? Would we know who we are? Would we have a concept of right and wrong? What would our daily lives be based upon, if it weren’t for the stories of those who came before us?
These were the questions Lenora Ucko asked when she began fine tuning her Interactive Storytelling technique many years ago. She had a vision of keeping the stories of our past alive. She had a database of folk stories from all over the world with wisdom that ran deep and crossed all cultural lines, and she was on a mission to bring them to the people. It was her vision that these stories could bring people together and create safe spaces for healing in people’s lives. And thus, StoriesWork was finally born in 2000.
Today, with a tiny staff of one, in addition to herself, Lenora continues to bring these stories to the people, in a safe, non-threatening way. She asks easy, open ended questions that get people talking comfortably about issues that they may never have spoken comfortably about before. She opens doors, hearts, and minds in ways that offer gifts to the participants, whether they recognize it in that moment or not. She refrains from judgment and teaches other storytellers this hard to master skill. She does this wonderful work selflessly, with her heart wide open.
We want to keep this vision of Lenora’s alive and keep StoriesWork’s doors open, but we need help from our community. Join our end of year fundraising campaign at GiftWhen here: www.giftwhen.com/storysearch or visit us on the web: www.storieswork.org. We are grateful for your support in keeping this old way alive in these modern times.
Please enjoy this sample story and check out the questions at the end. These are questions Lenora would ask you herself if she told you this story today. Please answer them in the comments. We’d love to see the discussion begin here.
The Hunchback Gets MarriedAn East European Folk Story, Author Unknown
A religious scholar, who was a hunchback, was betrothed in an arranged marriage to a beautiful woman. As was the custom in their country, the young people did not see each other until the day of the wedding.
When young woman saw her husband–to-be, she was aghast. He was a hunchback, and she refused to go through with the wedding. Everyone was shocked. No one knew what to do.
Then the hunchback said, “Please let me speak with the bride in private for a few minutes.” Not knowing what else to do, everyone agreed and the two young people were left alone.
After five minutes, the young couple came out, joined the guests, and the wedding went on as scheduled. For a long time, people wondered what happened in those five minutes.
They never knew that the groom had said to the bride, “Before we were born, it was told in heaven that our families would probably arrange a marriage between us. It was also decreed that one of us would have to be a hunchback.”
The bride then asked, “And what happened?”
“That’s when I told them,” said the groom, “please don’t let that happen to her. If one of us is to be a hunchback, please let it be me!”
1. How do you think this marriage worked out?
2. Why didn’t her parents tell the bride in advance that the groom was a hunchback? What would have happened if they did?
3. What did the guests think happened between the bride and groom in the few minutes they were alone?
Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.