…good things to remember…
Mystical and clear,
sense of belonging,
My experience over the last couple years with storyteller, Ron Green, has been expansive and enriching. His literary gifts can transform a classroom.
In addition, Ron and his family host solstice storytelling gatherings in his backyard, around a bonfire. I’ve watched this process evolve from listening to Ron tell stories, to listening to the guests share stories.
spreads like wildfire,
smooth like jazz.
The last time I participated in the solstice event I wanted to share some stories from my culture. I consulted my parents about their life in Pakistan, yet their input was not what I had expected…
My parents said that they didn’t recall many ancient stories. The farthest back that they knew was when their great grandparents were “converted” from Sikhism to Christianity. Growing up, my parents were taught to be more focused on the future and not look back at the past. It was as if they had been quietly asked to place horse blinkers around their eyes, shielding them from what was now behind them so it didn’t steer them off their future course.
My mom said they didn’t look at billboards or anything that exemplified Hindu or Muslim beliefs. They were only allowed to view content related to Christianity. Surprising? Not really. I was more surprised how something so culturally ingrained could also become intentionally invisible.
My relationship with Originateve has been inspiring. Listening to stories conveying messages from ancient times and ancient wisdom. Most derived from “Las Culturas de Las Americas.” Some stories have morals, some sound perilous, yet they all share the theme of ancient wisdom.
one branch dies,
I understand why my parents’ quest for progress revoked their desire to look back. Coming to the United States as immigrants, there was a sense of urgency to succeed in the independent, forward-driven society.
For the storytelling event at Ron Green’s house, I looked through my Classical Indian Dance books and read a story from the Ramayana, which was interesting to read instead of convey through dance.
my experience with storytelling;
kinesthetic/ to verbal/
That evening as we sat around the bonfire, more people told stories because they felt inspired by others’ stories. Some stories were about the hilarious and insightful coyote, some were delivered in song, some were cultural myths and some stories conveyed personal experiences.
One of my favorite stories that evening was told by Ron Green’s son, Paris. He told a funny coyote story. In this story coyote lost a very interesting body part through his own follies. We all laughed. What made it memorable for me is that type of story reminded me of “Latifahs”, which are funny stories and jokes.
organic, natural, flowing,
grateful relations, refreshing, circular
Although my family doesn’t tell old, traditional stories, we tell jokes, sing songs that are culturally meaningful… usually in Punjabi or in Urdu. We dance. We drink chai.
overlapping, true selves, honor
being, continuing, consistency,
actualize a vision.
I would love to see storytelling cultures grow and prosper in any format. Telling stories, whether ancient, modern, or contemporary, is a true skill. I admire the work of Ron Green and Carl Emmons. They want to bring ancient storytelling back to life.
What Ron Green wants to do within schools is change the very foundation of education from an outward and artificial experience, to be a more enriching and ecological experience where students honor themselves and nature.
lessons and humility
easy to forget we live for the Earth.
living, honored, reunion, blessing,
learning, grateful like family,
love visitors’ energy.
By Neena Massey
…waking up for
a couple years and dying.
regrown from dying roots…