Tuesday, February 9, 2010

the story tellers

They constitute a major chunk of every culture, religion, socioeconomic class, era and corner of the world.

"Story Teller" by Eunice LaFate

"Give me a subject. Everything depends on that.
Once the subject is given, it is easy to embroider."
-from Tolstoy's Anna Karenina

"The Boyhood of Raleigh" by Sir John Everett Millais

An excerpt from The Grapes of Wrath:

"The migrant people, scuttling for work, scrabbling to live, looked always for pleasure, and they were hungry for amusement. Sometimes amusement lay in speech, and they climbed up their their lives with jokes.

Image via here

"And it came about in the camps along the roads, on the ditch banks beside the streams, under the sycamores, that the story teller grew into being, so that the people gathered in low firelight to hear the gifted ones.

"And they listened while the tales were told, and their participation made the stories great [...] and their faces were quiet with listening. The story tellers, gathering attention into their tales, spoke in great rhythms, spoke in great words because the tales were great, and the listeners were great through them."
-John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath

"Jesus the Story Teller" from Angel Studio

I work with a little boy whose very being generates too much energy for his small body to handle. The energy has nowhere to go but out, and so he is always moving, touching, squirming, running, destroying, laughing, yelling, crying, talking and engaged in full-fledged acrobatics every possible moment.

Until a picture book is brought forth, the pages opened, and the story begun.
Then, he suddenly becomes very still and quiet like a nesting bird, chin in hands, eyes locked on the page, aware of nothing but the story unfolding before him.

The story enraptures and transforms.

Some Related Sites:


  1. It is very, very true...I often think that if I could choose one word that meant the most in terms of what drives and interests me it might possibly be 'storyteller'... :) xxx

  2. Storeyteller...Yes..enjoyed reading this..

    and how are you, my friend

    when i see the weather i always think of you...
    hope all is well

    sending love,
    kary and buddy

  3. I admire anyone who can tell a good story! I love to sit & visit w/ old(er) people. They have SO much to share & so often they share it in the form of a good ol' fashioned story... Bringing their history, memories, experiences & lessons learned to life. As I listen, I like to collect the nuggets of wisdom they throw in every now & then :)

  4. Stories are vital. I am just as interested in the stories that things tell as well as people. (you may have noticed through the editing process) Everything/everyone has a history. well written blog.

  5. Thanks! I had some help from Tolstoy and Steinbeck :)

  6. Oh, yes. My wild boy is calmed by stories-- he's been read chapter books since he was 48 hours old, and can sit for hours listening to books.

    Beautiful illustrations, too!

  7. Hey SL! : ) This post of yours brought to mind the movie "Out of Africa"....Do you remember the scene where Robert Redford asks Meryl Streep if she can tell a story? And she replies, "I happen to be very good at stories.", "I believe that." he says....Then the scene where he asks for the story and she asks for the first line......What a great scene!

    I'm off to check out the sites you recommended here; I've never heard of anything like this! Very cool : ) off I go.....

  8. I love a great story. I always wished I was good at it.

  9. This is a great post... very interesting. When my children were small, I would start a story and then each child had to continue it with their own words. We would keep going until someone said, "The End". The art work with your post is inspiring. Thank you!


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