I like Here’s the Story in the wintertime. Seems like it’s right at home in the season when people all over the world have always gathered close to share food and stories and warmth. Storytelling is interesting to me because it is at once something that comes naturally to all of us, and something that can be practiced and honed and artfully done. I also respect its traditional use as a teaching tool. Long before the printed word, storytelling was the primary transmitter of human history and memory.
In many native traditions, like the SiSi Wiss medicine way shared by most northwestern tribes in the US, storytelling is also how wisdom has been passed through generations. In that culture like many traditional cultures, hard-won knowledge about loving, and healing, and raising happy kids, and facing fear and overcoming conflict and achieving personal purpose, has been passed along through telling stories. In the SiSi Wiss tradition, there are some teaching stories that are more than 4,000 years old, and that last anywhere from hours to 3, 6 and 9 days long. In sharing ceremonies, people travel from far away to be together for big potlach feasts (where the modern potluck comes from) to be with friends and celebrate their time together and laugh and listen.
I share a little bit about that just to reflect on the fact that all of us who are enjoying storytelling in Chicago now are participating a beautiful and noble practice that has its roots in ancient and global history. Even our personal stories, when they are chosen and shared with generosity and a true desire to tell them, constitute evenings of personal truth that are moving, funny, illuminating and inspiring.
Here are some of the excellent folks who will be telling with us on March 3rd…