Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The storytellers' art

"Words and pictures are not the same. Another interesting difference between them is that words work in time, and pictures work in space. Pictures are very good at showing you where things are, what things look like, how far away things are -- that sort of thing. But a single picture on its own cannot show us the order of things happening. Stories are all about the order of things happening... I would rather consider myself in the rather romantic position of the old storyteller in the marketplace: you sit down on your little bit of carpet with your hat upturned in front of you, and you start to tell a story."- Phillip Pullman, The Storyteller's Art

Later today my husband Pete and I will drive over to the grounds of the South Whidbey Tilth not far from our tiny homes. We have some preliminary setting up and laying things out before we host our second annual fall storytelling event: this year I will use a microphone and speaker(s); the weather may or may not be the clear and sunny skies so we will consider the options. And then, no matter how long I have been speaking in public, the jitters do stir in me and my need to attend to details works on me. So ... we will go to the grounds, chant for what we need to know, and prepare.

"Chants were composed to be chanted and committed to memory. Memory was the computer of years past. All chants have a purpose and are packed with information to be utilized as needed...Chants describe forms and patterns in the natural world, including nature's endowment for life and destruction. These natural elements were visible, immediate, and constant for our ancestors, and the generic term accorded to these forebears is akua, or gods." - Pualani  Kanaka'ole Kanahele, Ke Honua Ola

The Safety Pin Café returns to the South Whidbey Tilth, Sunday, September 21st. A virtual café was created (2012) when magic showed up in winter, "a season only a duck could love". With the webbed feet of a creature who is facile crossing the mythic realms of imagination and soul retrieval The Safety Pin Café grew an adventure with life, and the community from which it was born wove into the magic.

"Story Story Sunday" is the second season of telling stories that hold life together in common ways. We are in it together, there are protocols and rites of passage we could integrate into our lives, if we ask for them. In this production of tales and common magic, three stories are told in the first half of the day and the ancestors and audience are welcomed to join in. An audio-recording made available for download captures the essence of trio of tales. A story from the people of the Salish Sea calls upon Raven, remembering his part in the creation story. A second story, from my home place (Hawaii) beckons to our definitions and comfort with initiation. The mana of chant will cross time and space. The third tale, about Care and clay reminds us of our responsibility to care for our bodies as the precious vessel it is.

The audio recording of the three tales from across this Island Earth is a collaboration between my family and the places and people who have made life whole again. Your purchase (Donation of $5.00 or more) of "Story Story Sunday ... three tales that hold life together" will go to the Good Cheer Food Bank located in Bayview, Whidbey Island, Washington. Everyone needs a safety pin to hold things together from time to time. My mother was 'the safety pin queen' teaching me early on how efficient and portable the magic of security could be put in place. It was she who dropped into the Langley Post Office that winter only a duck could love and left a bronze safety pin on the floor for me. I pinned it to my jacket, and went home to let the medicine of story layer me with comfort.

The grounds, campus and people of the South Whidbey Tilth was the first place my husband and I could safely be with others after many years of an unraveled life. A pesticide free public space is a major puuhonua place of refuge. We pitch our story tent, and bring stories here to say thank you. And, this fall, we add to our chants and stories, the other source of refuge and support that holds life together for us, and thousands of others in our community. Good Cheer Food Bank & Thrift Shops have a simple, and powerful mission "Creating a hunger-free community in South Whidbey." The art and gift that I can give back to this organization is to share stories. As I sit, stand and chant the stories, I'll put my upturned hat in front and me and let the words and images fly. And all contributions into that hat will keep making a hunger-free community in South Whidbey.

TO CONTRIBUTE, and purchase the audio-recording "Story Story Sunday ... three tales that hold life together", email us: mokihanacalizarATgmailDOTcom for details.

Thank you so much,
Mokihana Calizar and Pete Little

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