Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Dream and Reality

It was raining. I was lying on my bed thinking about what I’d write in this blog this week. My mind (or whatever passes for it these days) was wandering about, touching on all kinds of things that happened this week. One was the visit of a friend, a local historian, who came to show and lend me two old manuscript books full of stuff about Shemi, that 19th century storyteller I was writing about last week. This reminded me of my father many years ago telling me about a handwritten exercise book full of Shemi stories that he’d been shown and then, suddenly addressing himself to the ether, asking: ‘I wonder where that book is now.’ Strange to think the book he was speaking about may now be in my house.

Yet another was the beautiful butterfly that had somehow got into my bedroom. I’d finally managed to urge it out of the window with the deft use of a sheet of newspaper.

An old Irish story:

Well, it was the butterfly that lingered in my thoughts and reminded me of that old Irish story about the butterfly that flew out of the open mouth of one of two friends who’d gone to sleep in a field. Astonished at seeing where it had come from, the other man  followed the butterfly as it flew away across the field to some muddy boards across a stony little stream and then, after crossing the stream, went into and around an animal’s skull that happened to be lying on the ground before flying out and continuing on its hazy-dazy path.

Of course, when the sleeping friend woke up, he had a story to tell. With a great sense of awe, he told his friend what a wonderful dream he had had – how, in the dream, he’d come to a very fine bridge across a lovely wide river and how, after crossing the bridge, he’d come to a beautiful castle and, on going inside, had seen that it was full of the most wonderful things.

The butterfly in that Irish folk-tale was white. The butterfly on my windowsill was multi-coloured (a Red Admiral maybe?) and when I enlarged my photo of it, I saw the fullness of its beauty. In the week in which the 16 year old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, came to England and boldy addressed the nation with her vitally important climate change message, it felt important to know that it’s not only humankind that is threatened by environmental degradation but also beautiful butterflies like this.

PS: it’s all the minute details of my butterfly that captivated me, especially the hairy-looking body and the beautiful blue pattern along the bottom edge of the wings.  Wow!

Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “Storytelling Starters ~ Dream and Reality”

  1. Karen Tovell Says:

    Beautiful post, Mary.

    I am reminded of some words I read once – so looong ago that I am probably paraphrasing here:

    TRANSFORMATION: The caterpillar called it Journey’s End; the Master called it Butterfly.

  2. Mary Medlicott Says:

    I love this. Thanks, Mary

Leave a Reply