Chaos Attraction

National Storytelling Summit 2019--Day 4

2019-07-28, 8:41 p.m.

Last day of the conference, which was really just in the morning because in the afternoon they were doing tours of the Bay Area and y’know, been there/done that/lived it.

SOMEHOW the alarm clock in the room, which I have been unable to do anything with such as fix the damn time being off, went off screeching at 6 a.m. this morning (which was really 5-something because the clock was so off). WTF?

The morning workshop I went to was “Roots, Shoots, and Fruits: Cultivating the Seeds of Our Healing Stories” by Liz Mangual and Bob Kanegis. Notes from it:

* Metaphors of growth and cultivation, seed as story, such as “baby in a box with lunch” (no, I don’t recall what that was about). Germ of wholeness and healing. Story can be short cut to healing energy. Can make a physical object as a short cut.
* “We are our own favorite subjects.” -Liz
* They talked about how Bob’s dad died of a heart attack after they had a huge fight.
* Faith In A Seed: “I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” -Thoreau.
* Singing Sack story-- an ogre kidnaps a singing girl in a sack to get money, the mom goes after her.
* “Wholeness does not mean perfection. It means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.” -Parker Palmer.
* Make decisions about what stories to cultivate.
* Every time we tell a story we breathe.
* We are gardeners and plants.
*“We have to transform this room into an enchanted garden.”

We had to write down things about a particular situation (work), how we handled it, what helped me navigate it (nothing?), what strengths/values I had (don’t know there either, being strategic? Ability to put up with shit forever?). I partnered with Rick, who said to mine that he had a bad work situation but well, avoided it by leaving the job. He didn’t have too much in the way of bad stuff by comparison, lucky guy.

Rick also told me about going to the workshop with Joel ben Izzy that I wished I could have gone to as well during yesterday’s slot.* He said that was about little vignettes, pivots and turns, and having a framing story. He said it was about essence--believing in the process, having enough structure of how things would form. Twists and pivots to relate one story to another, woven in. Link somewhat unrelated stories by having something in common. Modular approach, vignettes, doing improv A-to-C style, and using analogies to weave stories together.

* Where is my damn Time-Turner, already?

The workshop leaders talked about talismans and gave us all kits to make our own (still haven’t done this....), which would have memories/experiences written within it, with a seed from a tree, handmade paper, yarn, raffia, copper wire. I love the crafting idea, just wish we’d had time to make some in class, as it were.

Then the next activity was a panel discussion called “Honor Their Wisdom” that had a bunch of professional storytellers in it. Brenda Wong Aoki, Olga Loya (don’t know that one), Diane Ferlatte, and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo (from EthNoTec). Mary Gay Ducey was the moderator. Notes I have down from this:

* “Singing is your birthright. Don’t let them stop you from singing off key.” -Mary Gay
* “Ready to dispense wisdom whether you like it or not.” -Mary Gay

To the question of “what are you concerned about in our business?
* Elaine: you need story to bridge bridges and convince people.
* Diane: not enough young people. “If it rings, it better be God.”

How did you get into storytelling?
* Olga: “This voice said, YOU’D BETTER GO” to a storytelling festival.
* “I read fantasy and I don’t know if I would have dreamed myself out of my situation.” -Elaine

* Charlotte: “she’s brilliant but neurotic!” -Elaine.
* Diane used to do sign language interpretation.
* “There’s never enough time for me to finish anything I mean to say.” -Mary Gay
* “We have a little bit of ego--” -Mary Gay, to which someone in the audience yelled “NOOOOOOOOOOO!”
* “Go into storytelling! You can make tens of dollars!” --unknown
* “I married a jazz musician! Why didn’t anyone stop me? He is an avant-garde jazz musician!” -Elaine
* Diane didn’t want to market herself, word of mouth worked for her. Her husband is her manager. She also said she’s been on chemo for 8 years(!) so now she also does personal stories.
* You can’t make it in the same spot, you have to travel to make a living.

Then we had closing ceremonies, which reminded me of the Pantheacon ones, and I suspect someone involved in the planning based it off them, from what someone said. They had everyone stand around in a circle and say what they liked, more or less.

“Drea, our faithful secretary, will take notes.”
Drea: “Oh SHIT!”

I also randomly spotted a pirate.

“I just realized being here that adults like stories,” someone said.
There was also, “To young people, thank you for being here. We were terrified we were going to be a one-generation wonder!”

And a few hours later, I went to tech week rehearsal....

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