Passing Through: Weekly Photo Challenge

In,

over,

through,

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(Oops! Missed some.)

and out.

Read this many years ago. Presume it’s from the Sufi tradition of teaching stories.

Years ago, a young backpacker set off travelling to new places.

Arriving in an distant city, he learned that a famous sage was speaking that night in the great hall. The young man decided to go along. An audience of over a thousand people heard the sage talk and many were as inspired as he was. They gathered outside in the square to talk late into the night about what they had heard and to plan their future.

Over the next two days, the traveller asked everyone he met how he might meet the sage in person. Three days later, he was taken to the place where the man had lived all his life. He rang the bell tentatively.

Stepping in the doorway, the young man noticed the home’s bare walls and basic furniture. The sage came forward and greeted him warmly. Together they sat by the fire to drink tea and talk.

After some hours, the traveller stood to thank his elder and bid him farewell. His host was curious to know what was had surprised him the most.

“You are so famous. People shower you with gifts. I expected you to live in grand style. ”

“You arrived with only a backpack!” retorted the sage.

“Yes, but I am only passing through,” muttered the young man.

“So am I,” replied his host.

Transient
All text and photos © Meg Philp are protected by Australian Copyright Law. If you wish to use any images. Please contact me thru Comments. Pass the story on. Thanks.

PS. And then there’s the song a Canadian teacher sang to me on the verandah of the Migrant Hostel in 1975 – the chorus is stuck in my mind.

 “Passing through, Passing through, … Glad that I ran into you, Tell the people that you saw me passing through.”

Google now tells me it was written by Richard Blakeslee and sung by Pete Seeger! … Learn something new every day!

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

Be a Friend – Read Stories Aloud

Listeners of any age are drawn into another world by an expressive reader, with a good book.

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Not everyone is a storyteller. We can, however, read books aloud with feeling. As a human experience, reading loud arouses curiosity and is essentially interactive, pleasure-able, and informative.

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Reading aloud fluently puts the life back into words on the page. It’s a step towards oral storytelling, creating a strong bond between reader and listener.

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Babies in the womb pick up voice vibrations at 16 weeks. Singing nursery rhymes and reading picture books to the baby from that time on … works! Oracy  – all that spoken interaction – is the vital foundation for literacy.

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Reading “with expression,” or fluently, is an acquired skill.  We learn by listening to a fluent reader who engages us, using the ‘melody’ (intonation) of their voice.

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New research into young learners shows that listening to a text read aloud is more instructive than everyday talking – the imagination is stimulated, more parts of the brain “fire” at once, while memory, as well as vocabulary, increases.

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As my friend Naomi B. commented so eloquently, listening to stories

“helps them hear the language and its patterns, and eventually it will help them understand the structure and elements of a good story. I believe that growing up hearing stories all the time, every day, helps them recognise and appreciate the stories all around them, and it is much more likely that they will learn and love to create and tell stories of their own.”

Thank you, dear Friend

And,  just in case you have the time to watch a 9:29 min TedX talk

“Why We Should All Be Reading Aloud To Children | Rebecca Bellingham | Tedxyouth@Beaconstreet” YouTube. (9.29) Dec, 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.

See also this week’s inspiring post ‘1-800-Viola Swamp’ in A Teacher’s Reflections by Jennie. Please click the link to learn the power of reading aloud in her Early Years classroom.

Reference:  REESE, Elaine. Tell Me a Story: Sharing Stories to Enrich Your Child’s Life. Auckland, OUP, 2013.

All text (except quote) and photos in this post by Meg (except B&W and second last image which are published with permission) are Australian Copyright protected. © 2017 Meg Philp

Story Twigs the Imagination! © Meg Philp

Scanning new horizons: WPC

In 2017, let me really appreciate where I live, decide where I’m heading, and take more memorable photos.

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I reminder snapping this on the wall of  the Grille Cafe, Transport World, Invercargill, New Zealand …

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 Here’s to a peaceful, respectful and creative New Year. Thank you for reading my blog posts.

New Horizon

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.

Time kept on slipping



IMG_7532We had a great holiday last month. Friend  – storyteller, author  – Naomi Baltuck even posted a blog about it. We cruised on ferries. went for long walks, caught up,

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talked, listened and told, as well as heard, great stories.

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 Leaving Seattle, after a ‘history-making’ good time with Naomi is always hard.

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 I’d had an awesome Autumn.

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Flying past the luminous, snow-covered Mount Rainier at sunset made me feel small and very fortunate.

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As the plane came into land that night at LA, I watched the vast spread of city lights twinkle below us. Where had I seen this before?

Here, is where my time slip began. Perhaps you remember this –  Los Angeles in 2019 – from Bladerunner

Arriving at the Tom Bradley International Terminal was awesomely disorienting. Hi tech designs, with huge video screens, columns of light flickering above, beside and ahead of me. I had to ask the man in the iStore where the Departures info was. That’s it, in the photo, three floors up on the left!

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(Photo taken by Praytino copied under CC 2.0 licence)

I felt so disoriented, I couldn’t focus … then … I heard my my name called from the heavens. “Meg Fillip, please bghajkkljd, lkajsd, ijnn, ooa, inmpe am cfoeee. Meg Fillip, please bghajkkljd, lkajsd, innj , ooa, inmpe am cfoeee.” That helpful man in the iStore said it generally meant you were being called to your departure gate.

I hot-footed it to the distant gate which was about as ornate as a temporary hangar.  The flight attendant took my Boarding Pass and handed me a new one, unfazed by my query as to why I had been summoned. (I do have a Scottish accent, so perhaps this was dismissed as unintelligible … I was a bit stressed.) So I sat there in the departure lounge, waiting, waiting …closed my eyes to wish I was back in those cool woods again.

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When I opened them, a woman was standing in front of me, staring. “Lee!” I squeaked. Here was  a fellow Aussie storyteller I hadn’t seen in years. “I heard your name called and I couldn’t believe this was you, but I see that it is!” she laughed. I was so relieved. We hugged.

She helped me break the announcement garble. Lee heard that someone with my name had left something behind in Security. I looked around me and froze … no cabin bag …  quick march back there.

No. They hadn’t blown it up. My purple spotted, unlocked, blue carry-on was intact. A weary supervisor put down his coffee and sandwich, got it for from a back room for me – no trouble.

What a sense of relief … my feet were back on the ground again. I took this reassuring photo as I passed the bookshop. (They’re reading a book about puppies.)

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Well, I flew home safe … but not that sound. No sleep and in the dark, my mind skewed through time – dreams, images, words and background noises,  all melding together like a shimmering, Munch scream …I was encased in a swelling gum bubble showing flickers of story on the inside …

In Scottish folktales there’s lots of instances of characters slipping in time. I have never really thought about them being so disorientated … being ‘away with the fairies’ –  a hundred years pass by in a night of fiddle-playing for the fairy folk, or a man with no story to tell has a dream, or one goes exploring in a cave …

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or venturing out in a graveyard one night to visit the land of the dead. This takes the main character three hundred years, in the Italian tale One Night in Paradise. When he returns, there are strange buildings where his home used to be.

In the Irish legend of Bran’s Voyage, the sailors think they’re gone for three years, not for hundreds! When they return, the men are warned not to set foot on dry land or else!  One sailor steps off and he turns to dust. The ship and crew are doomed to sail the oceans forever. What a fate!

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Magpie in my Illawarra Flame tree

I woke up to soft light and the calls of familiar birds greeting the dawn. Later, as I walked my usual route around by the creek, the Jacarandas confirmed it is Spring time in Brisbane. I was on home ground.

Jacarandas early morning

Jacarandas early morning

I’m not “away with the fairies” now but the air is heady with the scent of Star Jasmine, and Mock Orange. And the strongest perfume of all, comes from a bush where the flowers are purple when they first open, then fade slowly with each passing day, till they are white, commonly known as

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Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow!

In the inimitable words of the Steve Miller Band, Time keeps on slipping!

…………………

All text and photos by Meg, except Praytino’s photo as  indicated.

Some stories I’ve told featuring time slips –

One night in paradise in CALVINO, Italo. Italian folktales.

The Man with no story to tell in DOUGLAS, Sheila. The King o the Black Art and other folktales.

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