Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Lifting The Sky’

Storytelling Starters ~ Lifting the Sky

Saturday, June 26th, 2021

Sometimes getting a shock can make you do silly things. But another thing it can do is initiate immediate recollections of how important some people have been in your life.

Quite early yesterday morning,  Paul came downstairs with news he’d just picked up on his mobile phone that a friend of ours in Canada had died. We’d never been able to spend long periods of time with her. But she was a very loving and loveable person. She was the wife of a composer who’d been important to me in my work life.

So suddenly and with such a sense of shock does a vital piece of your life return to you, huge both in memory and feeling. Lori Davies was herself a distinguished nurse.   I came to know her some 20 years ago. She was married to Victor Davies, the renowned Canadian composer who had been commissioned to write music for a story I was telling at that time. The story was a very old Salish myth that, in our joint endeavours, became known as Lifting the Sky. The music Victor composed for the story was first performed in public by the North American Welsh Choir, who had commissioned it, with me telling the story. The performance was the  major part of a storytelling evening I was giving in Shelton, Washington in May  2001. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Connecting

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

It’s odd. You rack your brain for a story on a particular theme, conclude that you don’t have one, then suddenly realise that of course you do. It’s just that you’ve never seen it before from the perspective of that particular theme.

A dog story?

P1020007This week the problem occurred to me in relation to dogs. There I was on Abermawr beach when up came Storm. Storm is a black and white collie. His owner lives about half-an-hour’s walk from the beach. But Storm is always on the beach. For ten years or more, I’ve seen him whenever I go there. One day, I even spotted him from high on the coast path quite a distance away. A black and white dog? Yes, it was Storm.

Storm wears two tags on his collar. One says his name. The other says, ‘Please leave me on Abermawr beach.’ He loves that beach. He walks up and down it and in and out of the sea as if he just has to let you know what a fine place it is. This week, though, he looked less energetic. We could see he’s getting old. If and when he’s not on that beach, it won’t ever feel quite the same.

Storm started me thinking I’d like to write about him. And that led to me wondering if I know any folktale-type stories about a dog. No, I thought, I do not have n a single one. Then it dawned on me. I do. There’s a dog in a story I’ll be telling next week as part of Enchanted Evening, the evening of songs and stories my husband and I will be doing at Pepper’s in Fishguard with David Pepper as Paul’s accompanist.

Lifting the Sky is the story. It’s one that means a lot to me. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Making Connections 3

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Time is key in modern life. In so many ways, we are governed by it. We keep track of it on watches and phones, schedule appointments on calendars and computers, set electronic beeps to remind us of upcoming events, timetable weekends and holidays along with our work. This week, Making Connections tells a traditional Native American story about the power that time exerts. It also suggests a key storytelling method that can help to get that power back.

Keys – and a tale for adults and older children

Background to the Story

How Mink Stole Time is a myth of the Salish people, a North American Indian people of the North West Pacific region. I myself have a personal link with Salish traditions. Some years ago, when the North American Welsh Choir asked me to suggest a story that could form the basis of a new commission for piano, choir and storyteller, I put forward a Salish story about the lifting of the sky and the bringing of light to the people. The resulting piece – Lifting the Sky – was composed by Canadian composer Victor Davies and American poet Carolyn Maddux and in its first performances in the Olympic Peninsula, I narrated the story. (more…)