Sunday, April 12, 2009

Storytelling Review: Courage and Wisdom

Old folktales from many lands and cultures, told in Mary Garrett's unique voice come to live in modern times on Mary's CD, Courage and Wisdom: Stories Make the World Go Around. Beginning with her father's wise words and continuing through stories that can be funny and frightening, puzzling and provocative, timeless and yet timely, Mary weaves her stories into a tapestry of rich images and ideas.

I met Mary Garrett online, in a new community formed by the Storytell listserve group. I was still finding my way in the confusing and exhilarating world that I had discovered quite by accident. Storytell and its many experienced members guided me in those early years, and Mary Garrett was one of those who shared her wisdom and stories freely with this shy newcomer.

Over the years, I have learned much from Mary. Online, I shared Mary's joys and frustrations as a teacher in St. Louis, and rejoiced with her when retirement was finally a reality for my friend.

Retirement allowed Mary to pursue storytelling in new ways. This CD is one of the new goals Mary set and achieved as she developed her storytelling career into new areas.

Making a CD is not so easy as it might seem. The recording itself is the easiest part; selecting stories is the most difficult. What stories? How do the stories relate to each other? How to develop a comfortable flow to the tales that deepens and enriches each story, complementing one with another? How to bring the listener safely and joyfully to the end?

It is clear from the beginning that Mary put a good deal of thought in her story selections. She begins with a comfortable, humorous tale from childhood ; from that safe place she leads the listener from one moral dilemma to another, in the process demonstrating that while the stories come from many cultures, their meaning will resonate with listeners of all ages and beliefs.

From a simple rabbit tale to the richness of Scheherezade, the suspenseful Mary Culhaine and the wisdom of The Innkeeper's Wise Daughter, Mary wraps us in brightly colored words like a silken shawl, and travels the world with us on the magic carpet of story in our minds.

Courage and Wisdom: Stories Make the World Go Around is available on Mary's website, where you may also download mp3 samples of the stories on her CD.


Mary said...

I'm blushing and smiling. I thank you so much for all your kind words.
Happy Easter!

Granny Sue said...

You're welcome! It's a lovely CD. The music and the garphics too.

Janet, said...

It sounds like a good CD to listen to. It's a gift to be able to get up in front of everyone and tell those tales like you do.

Conrad said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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