Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘eye’

Storytelling Starters ~ Casting an eye

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

P1080269Do you get times when your mind is zooming about, travelling at the speed of light from one  remembered experience to another, let alone between remembered stories,  no doubt trying to make sense of things? As I write, my mind is doing just that. It makes for quite an adventure. But underneath, there are an  awful lot of feelings trying to settle themselves into some kind of equilibrium. Here’ a sample of where my thoughts have been.

For instance – and I know I’ve told the story in this blog in the past – my mind briefly touched down on that North American Indian story  – I know I’ve told it here before – in which there’s a hero who has survived and conquered all kinds of terrifying situations. Zombies. The underworld. Flames. And there he is, recounting his adventures around the camp fire, when he feels something strange on this arm. He looks down – it’s a spider – and he nearly jumps out of his skin. He can’t stand spiders.

Then again, there’s something that happened for real yesterday. My husband was working at his computer (it’s a fairly new one with a touch screen). Suddenly, as he reported to me later, the cursor on the screen appeared to have gone puzzoowee. It was jumping about all over the place. He couldn’t think why – not until he saw that there was an incredibly tiny spider walking across the screen.

It just goes to show how sensitive a touch-screen can be. But for me the story made sense because that’s just how my mind has been behaving since the cataract operation on my left eye on Wednesday. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ It happened to me

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

A couple of days ago, I went into my optician’s. The receptionist looked rather surprised.  I said I’d come to see if they could fix my dark glasses. He said he’d literally just picked up the phone to ring me to say my new glasses were ready for picking up. ‘Uncanny,’ he said and I agreed. The fact of having to wait for my new glasses had been the reason for wearing the dark ones. But last night at the theatre one lens of the dark ones was suddenly gone at the interval. We scrabbled around under the seats and, fortunately, the missing lens was there, unbroken. Phew!


Cropped paperweightIt’s always a strange thing, that sense of synchronicity or coincidence. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it has come to the fore several times recently in comments readers of this blog have sent in. After last week, these comments gave me a tingling sense of a new kind of storytelling community – one that exists on the web.

For ages, it’s been a belief of mine that community and storytelling go together. A common interest in stories literally brings people together.  The weekend after next it will be the Annual Gathering of the Society for Storytelling, this year being held in Cardiff. When the revival of storytelling was beginning to gather momentum in this country, the SfS played an important part in forging links between storytellers and helping to support new ones. The same thing had happened with the monthly Drill Hall workshops I ran for ten years from the mid-80s to the mid-90s with my friend and colleague Karen Tovell. Common interests create community and in the case of the Drill Hall workshops, they also helped develop a shared way of working that could then be used with all kinds of community groups.

Storytelling gets people sharing ideas and making friends. This can happen in a one-off workshop or a course that lasts over a number of weeks. It can happen in storytelling clubs as attenders get to know each other or  in a classroom situation as children hear new aspects of each other in how they respond to stories. 

Stories across the world-wide web: (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ The Light of an Eye

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

P1070330My photos this week are of a carved head. But it’s painting that’s on my mind as I write. For when I’ve  posted this, I’ll be going to look at a painting.  A message about it arrived this week from the owner of an art gallery in Fishguard, the town where I spent the first fourteen years of my life. He is in the process of selling a number of works by Elizabeth Cramp, a very fine Fishguard artist who achieved a good deal of success while she lived. As he told me in his email this week,  the works of hers that he is now selling include a painting of my Aunty Mali.

Aunty Mali was a considerable influence in my life. A friend of my parents rather than an actual relation, she was a personality, a music teacher, a choral conductor,  a traveller and, wherever she travelled, an informal ambassadress of Wales and Welsh culture. She was also a redoubtable storyteller with innumerable stories to tell. After her death, Aunty Mali became the subject of my storytelling piece, Travels With My Welsh Aunt. It was my tribute to her. When I performed it in Fishguard, the same art-gallery owner, Myles Pepper, who’s now selling Elizabeth Cramp’s  paintings was the organiser of the occasion.

So when I get to Myles’s gallery,  I’ll see ‘a very fine watercolour painting’  which I didn’t even know existed. What will its impact be? Aunty Mali has been dead nearly twenty years. I have many, many photographs of her as well as boxes full of her papers. But a painting? Will it feel too powerful, as if she’s come back to life? Or might it be a disappointment by not being the Aunty Mali I knew?

The prospect is daunting. What will I see? (more…)