Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Time travel

This morning I finished reading Virginia Woolf’s extraordinary novel, Orlando. This was my second reading of it. The first was years ago, goodness knows how many. In various different ways, it’s a book about malleability. Orlando begins as a boy and then becomes a girl and it seems that he lives in many different eras from the Elizabethan onwards. At the end of the book, he is driving a car down Park Lane. Or is ‘he’ a ‘she’ by then? In a very real way, it doesn’t matter. The book encourages us to know that, since we as human beings possess this extraordinary thing called imagination, we can travel both in time and space. And, what’s more, through reading and living, meeting people from different cultures and experiencing the world through different media such as radio and TV and the internet, we also travel within ourselves.

Paul reminded me this morning that today is the 25th anniversary of the death of someone who became a best friend of ours. Lynne Bryer was South African. We met her during the comparatively brief time she lived in London. She became such close friends that she made Paul and me the godparents of her two children, Joshua and Georgia. When she returned to South Africa, we travelled there to visit her and her family and, through friendships we made as a result, I was given the wonderful opportunity to go there subsequently on a five-week storytelling trip. Then as before and since, what I learned is that it’s the people you get to meet who make all the difference.

For instance, I remember so well the young black man (I mentioned him recently in this blog) who was able to say to me in one of the storytelling workshops I did in South Africa: ‘This is the first time I’ve looked a white woman in the eyes.’ I think of him quite often. I wonder if he remembers me. It’s through such meetings and, more importantly, through being honest in our experience of life that we can really grow in our appreciation of the world.

And so we travel. This week and next, Paul and I are back in my home area of North Pembrokeshire. A few days ago and at her devising – for she was back in Pembrokeshire at the same time – I met up with a school friend called Pam whom I haven’t seen since I was fourteen. What a wonderful meeting that was! As time goes on and you get older, you learn the pleasures of time travel as you remember things from the past. Pam and I were both part of a group of friends that used to go cycling together. Nowadays I don’t cycle at all. I don’t even possess a bike. Perhaps I should. The trips we made were such fun! At least I can now enjoy the memory of them.

PS: My pictures this week are of a couple of my favourite Pembrokeshire views that I see every time I am here and walk out from Mathri village towards the sea at Abercastle.

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2 Responses to “Storytelling Starters ~ Time travel”

  1. Hilary Minns Says:

    Hello Mary,
    Like you, we were big cyclists in our youth but hadn’t cycled for three years or more. Our bikes lay unloved in the garage and we were more afraid of the traffic as each year went by. Then, with lockdown, it was now or never. So, new helmets and a bike rack on the car, and off we went. It feels so good to be on two wheels again – go for it!!

  2. Jean Edmiston Says:

    Dear Mary — I hope you enjoy your 2 weeks in Pembrokeshire — beautiful views – Jean xx

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