This year, I have been working at the Scottish Storytelling Centre; a space for oral tradition to bloom into the present moment. It is said that stories are told “Eve to Eye, ‘Heart to Heart’…they are a moment of connection between the teller and the listener.
If anything, I have found that Storytelling is a shared experience. It is something which opens our cultural roots through different traditions, places and beliefs. Our stories are a foundation that allow us to dig into our past and to see our present through new ways.
“It is the word, blossoming as legend, poem, story, secret, that holds a community together and gives a meaning to its life.” George Mackay .
It has been extremely inspiring to be amongst such an old tradition and to see how it brings people together today. The stories of the past still hold so much resonance at present. Storytelling has been a way to share our existence with both the places we inhabit and the people that we encounter. We navigate our lives through the stories we tell, and we navigate our stories through the lives that we live.
This echoes the work that I created during my undergraduate degree, sculpting site-specific performances that triggered the present and past from forming a story between both spaces. Within this vast body we are able to re-listen to the journeys of our ancestors, to the their paths and songs and to retell them once more through our own voices.
This rich cultural tradition is embedded within Scotland today, and is still alive and evolving. All sorts of stories and songs are being retold, generation from generation, with the same resonance and knowledge, which hold the same magic and spirit as when they were first told thousand of years ago.
In this way, we can tell stories from the inside out, where our soul can meet the land it stands on. Navigating our stories through listening, telling and singing…
We storytellers are concerned
not alone with amusement, or with education,
or with distraction;
nor is it enough to give pleasure.
We are concerned with letting a stream of light
pass through us as though one facet of the gem or jewel,
that there may be revealed some aspect of the spirit,
some beauty and truth
that lies hidden within the world and humankind.
– Ruth Sawyer, The Way of the Storyteller