Campfires against the dark

The snow came at the weekend, tucked us into winter nicely. And despite the fact that we know it will be cold and wet we cannot resist going out in it, throwing the stuff around, and rolling it into balls of various sizes. One of my favourite sounds is the creak of a good boot compacting freshly laid snow, when all other sounds are being absorbed and muffled. It’s compelling stuff, snow.

And then we come home, and we want a fire to keep us warm, to ease the sting of the cold out of our cheeks and thighs, and just maybe, we think we could stare into the flames, and let our minds wander, let stories rise up and be told the way they would have done a thousand or several thousand years ago.

The flames ward off the dark, you see, but it’s the stories that bind us together, and keep us safe.

You can have that thousand year old experience, if you make the effort to get out there. If you’ve never been to see a gifted storyteller, you have missed something alchemical. It truly makes you understand why travelling minstrels were prized and rewarded so well. It is absolutely nothing like being read to, and it is absolutely nothing like watching a play. It is everything like being taken deep into your own imagination, by someone who knows the way better than you.

I’ve decided to shoehorn ‘seeing more storytelling’ into the do more category of my resolutions, and as I live in London this won’t be as hard as it would be elsewhere. I could do worse than start with the Crick Crack Club, one of the foremost collectors and promoters of storytelling performers. I’ve seen several of their performers over the last few years and loved it every single time, and their what’s on page lists upcoming shows around the country, not just in London. There are other story telling nights around London obviously, including a regular evening at the Torriano in North London, and upcoming events by individual storytellers like Vanessa Woolf, or collaborations like seriouskitchen, who can and do travel further afield. A google will show you the way.

In my googling for this post I came across the Society for Storytellers, and wouldn’t you know it? National Storytelling Week runs from 26th Jan to 2nd Feb. Sometimes you know that the universe is trying to tell you something.

One thought on “Campfires against the dark

  1. That sounds lovely. Now that I live in the wilds of San Diego, I am missing the culture of NYC. I will have to seek out local storytellers. I’m sure there are some here. I just have to find them. Enjoy!

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