Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Saying it how it is

I wrote P09a piece about sorting this week – sorting photos, papers, clothes, stuff. Sorting raises issues of many kinds. Sometimes these feel like demons. Is the item you’re considering of any financial value? Is it worth keeping because of the memories behind it? Is anything worth keeping except what you really need now? In wanting to keep things, are you simply leaving aside problems for someone else to have to sort out later?

And so the questions go on. One answer is to cherish what you’ve got. This week, looking through old notebooks and journals (and deciding they’re far too interesting to throw away), I came across some very good quotes and sayings that at one time or another I’d decided to keep.

What follows is a selection from what I found. I offer them here on the basis that if you’re interested in storytelling (or completely passionate about it as many of us are), other people’s thoughts on the subject can be a great support. Who knows when you may have to give a talk about why you do it or love it? Or write some kind of piece about the art? Or try to identify why, as a subject, it’s so deep?

P1080273Good sayings:

‘A story is like the wind; it comes from a far-off quarter and we feel it.’ (A Bushman saying)

‘A tune is more precious than the song of birds, and a tale more precious than the wealth of the world.’ (Irish proverb)

Good quotes:

‘The story is our escort; without it we are blind.’ (Chinua Achebe, Nigerian writer and thinker)

‘You don’t need facts to tell lies; what you need is a confident vocabulary.’ (Jim Crace, English novelist)

‘It is half the art of storytelling to keep a story free from explanation.’ (Walter Benjamin, German Jewish philosopher and cultural critic)

‘A person who had never listened to nor read a tale or myth or parable or story would remain ignorant of his own emotional and spiritual heights and depths, would not know quite fully what it is to be human.’ (Ursula Le Guin, American author)

P.S. When I was thinking about how to illustrate this blog post, it occurred to me that good sayings and quotes are a bit like flowers – except, of course, that, unlike flowers, they don’t die.

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