In a small café in Galt, an intimate group was charmed by the stories and ballads of two professional storytellers who weaved their words and songs masterfully to create a tapestry of enchantment.
Carol Leigh Wehking and Brenda Byers presented a World Storytelling Day event in the cozy atmosphere of The Wired Up Pugs Café – Bistro on March 17th.
The ancient tradition of oral storytelling is an intimate and nurturing skill passed through the ages to delve into our fears, fantasies, life-lessons and delights. Storytellers do not read from books, rather, they absorb a tale, and bring their personal style to the craft by forming images and touching the emotional senses of listeners.
“We are connected by history and culture,” says Carol Leigh. A professional storyteller for over 20 years, she has told throughout Canada, the United States, Australia and Europe. “It is how we find out what we have in common.”
With World Storytelling Day just around the corner, storytellers from around the world are gathering to tell their tales in as many languages and to as many people as possible in a Global Equinox Celebration of Fortune and Fate.
“All the senses connect. What touches you in a story can connect and remind you of smells and sounds,” says Brenda, founder and artistic director of Storywyse which seeks to further the art of oral tradition. “We connect in more ways than with words.”
“A community is created with the telling and listening. We are co-creators together,” Carol Leigh agrees.
Celebrated on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere which is the first day of fall in the southern, the official date for the event is March 20th, however, in the days leading up to the event, venues large and small welcome those sharing the art form.
“It’s inspirational knowing this communication is all over the world,” says Carol Leigh. “Stories have power and we find the right stories to communicate.”
Vidushee Singh, owner of the café, was excited to open her doors on a Sunday when she is usually closed to the public. “Art should be appreciated in every way possible,” she said. “This is a great place to have people gather.”
Carol Leigh and Brenda were able to bring their listeners into the world of cobblers and outlaws, fortune tellers and knights. Like a piece of gold from a treasure chest, a story is passed to others and the circle of giving begins.
“The audience gives back. They rejuvenate and exhilarate us,” Carol Leigh smiles.
“Stories bring everything forward,” says Brenda. “We all have a story.”
For more information, contact Storytellers of Canada at www.storytellers-conteurs.ca