Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In the beginning...

Ursula le Guin says, "It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters, in the end." So here I am, at the beginning of my journey, with no idea of the end, except that it will be home again, eventually. I have been on the road two days, down the Newell Highway, heading for Daylesford and the Words in Winter Festival. It will be marvo to see fellow tellers and hear their stories - but first I must traverse half the continent in my new van, Toot Toot. She is a little beauty, a Renault Kangoo, brand new and all set up to take me and the story box south. But in the beginning, before I left, I had lots of difficult choices to make. What books would I take with me? How could I leave my library at home for weeks? I borrowed as many audio books as I could from the wondrous DBay Library. If only I had planned ahead enough to have an EReader. Lackaday, Lackaday.

Whew up there, girl! Remember this journey is about solitude, and the landscape and the stories that emerge - not taking every moment to catch up on favourite authors and books. My wondrous friend and fellow teller, Jackie Kerin, calls it 'addicted to print' and that is true enough, but it is really addicted to story. Story tells us who we are and where we come from. It makes sense of experience by placing it in a context. Sure enough the context constantly changes. That is the heart beating challenge, the wild old ride between teller and listener. As a storyteller I have been traversing the continent for years - with small children, smart mouth teens, jaded workers and wise old folk. Sometimes my fellow tellers were full of laughter and good cheer, often they were truthful with a capital T and vulnerable, mostly they have shared their stories with great generosity of spirit. This is the spirit I emulate.

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