Rocamadour: Ritual Wanderlust

For more than a thousand years, pilgrims have stopped in this gorge on their way through France to the Santiago Di Compostela. There’s a shrine to a Madonna here.

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When we’ve come this far, we may as well keep going along the only street.

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Buildings cling to the canyon walls, while a castle crowns the crest.

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How do we get up there? Where are we?

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Climb more stairs at the castle, past the clock tower which begins to toll the hour. Shakily, step out onto the ramparts to get a better view: a sense of where we are in the world.

DSCF0593Looking down, there’s the Sanctuary with its basilica and chapels. Put one foot in front of the other. Go in and light a candle. Sit. Go back in time. Read the words on a mural ” Aimer, Evangeliser, Servir.” (To love, to proclaim, to serve.) Sit still in the space.

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Later, we followed the sheltered path, down past the 14 Stations of the Cross, where millions have walked before.  We talked of history and how fortunate we are to live now.

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I’ve taken a while putting this post together. ‘Wanderlust’ doesn’t seem the right word to me. I’m more of a WanderLuck person.  Now, especially with my camera, I notice good fortune more that ever.

When I was travelling in 88, setting out as a storyteller for the first time, I was given a copy of an Armenian story by New York storyteller Diane Wolkstein. She wanted me  to write it out again in my own way. It felt like a test. I did a fearfully poor job of it then. Years later I realised what a significant tale it is.

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Here’s a shortened version of what I read then in Virginia Tashjian’s collection “One There Was And Was Not.” Like most stories, it’s so much better told, face to face –

One there was and was not, a man who walked off in a temper one morning to find God. He was a poor farmer who’d struggled all his life. He wanted to tell God, once and for all how unfair his life had been.

On the way he met a ravenous, skinny wolf who wanted him to ask God why he was always so hungry, then a beautiful, rich woman, who was so lonely and next, a huge tree by a riverbank withered and thirsty. Each listened to his complaints, without judgement, and requested that he ask a similar question of God on their behalf. The man agreed and went on his way.

He met God sitting on a rock in the middle of nowhere. The man asked for answers for those three he’d met on the way. When God heard his complaint, he agreed with the fellow and gave him the gift of luck.

On the journey back, the man reiterated the solution to each character as he had been told … but was in too much of a hurry to dig up the treasure choking the tree roots and rejected the rich woman’s proposal. He had to get back home for he had been given the gift of luck.

And the wolf’s god-given solution ? ” Soon he would meet a very foolish man and once he had devoured him, only then would his hunger be truly satisfied!”

(I’ll leave you to imagine the ending.)

Thanks for your time.

All text and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Wanderlust

References

Rocamadour

Shrine

Terrific Taranaki: Earth WPC

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

This week’s photo challenge is to celebrate “Earth.” I’ve holidayed in this part of New Zealand 9 times in the past 14 years. It’s just a hop across the “Ditch” from Australia. This Lonely Planet poster was in a fish … Continue reading

How Mary Medlicott “twigs” on her Storyworks Blog

Here’s a great example of how Story “twigs” your imagination.

Mary is a longtime storyteller and author of several  compilations of stories and more. I have been following her blog for over a year now … and I learn so much.

Reblogged here with permission. Thanks, Mary

Thursday night, we went to see King Lear in the Royal Shakespeare Company production at the Barbican. It was hard and long and brilliant and Anthony Sher was a completely believable and utterly moving Lear. As his three daughters responded to his request to tell him how much they loved him, it was immediately clear…

via Storytelling Starters ~ Dear as Salt — Mary Medlicott’s Storyworks Blog

Half-Light Stardust: Weekly Photo Challenge

Winter sunsets by the sea, here in Coolum, Queensland, often have a sugar-almond blush … before the stars come out.

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And now the purple dust of twilight time … 

‘Stardustwritten by Hoagy Carmichael, was one of the romantic songs my father liked to sing over the years. When it was his turn at family celebrations, he would stand in front of the fireplace. We all sat round our living room, hushed, expectant. Inspired by Nat King Cole, he’d smoothly slip into the song, looking at mum and she’d blush. The rest of us were held spell-bound there, till he raised his glass to her at the end, and we did the same.

All text, except those in italics ,and photos by Meg. Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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Sources: Stardust sung by Nat King Cole on Youtube :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VezW1PtDq5E

 

 

 

Story: a Dance Floor

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Take me in your arms as the fiddles are playing and waltz me around the floor.

I came upon this ornament in a Thrift shop. I just had to buy it. It reminded me how much I love dancing.

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Let me dream for a while …

Dancing is such a fun thing to do. But …  I remember those scary times when I had to waltz smoothly, gliding across the floor .. and how nervous I felt with a new partner.

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… in the warmth of your smile, so I won’t feel alone anymore.

Did you ever waltz? Were you holding on too tightly? Did you stumble over their toes?

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Maybe we’ll win or maybe we’ll lose, playing the game of romance.

0r were you sure your partner was thinking of other things … other mice … other tails? We all carry our stories inside us and sometimes, just a little ornament can take us back to those times.

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I heard Ed Stivender, a famous US storyteller,  tell stories at the National Storytelling Festival in Tennesse last October. Ed told whimsical, funny stories, spontaneous tales, even biblical tales, and sang and played harmonica as he went along. He led the “Fringe” festival in the Main street at 5 pm on the Saturday.

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In a interview earlier that day, I had listened to Ed in an interview reflecting on his experiences as a storyteller. He talked about his cardinal rule –  ” Give the audience a break from the realities of the world … their worries,  their fears” and he also described what the consequences were for him, when he once broke that rule.

His perspective on a storyteller’s relationship with their audience was compelling.

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He believes story is the dance floor … for the dance of the imagination between audience and teller: the whole event can be an occasion of Grace.

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But we’ll never find out what Love’s all about- if we don’t join in the dance!

My dancing mice reminds me of Ed the storyteller and of storytelling itself.

You might have noticed they’ve had their tails replaced. Nothing’s perfect. When I found them, they had no tails  … how could they keep their balance without their tails?  So you can see I innovated, and made them new tales.

I think they like them. They’re good enough.

[Photo captions are lyrics from a favourite song, The Maybe Waltz, written by Anne Infante]

All photos and text by Meg Philp

Stories Twigs … ! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Fist published 2014. Updated 20 March 2016 <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/dance/”>Dance</a&gt;