Storytelling: It’s a means by which we are entertained but also by which we explore meaning and develop our internal fortitude, our moral fiber, values and identity … At least that was the purpose before storytelling was so grossly co-opted by marketing with its push to accumulation and self-aggrandizement. This month in our lead feature, Healing Stories, Michael Watson, therapist and Native American shaman, explores the power of storytelling to heal in the context of tradition and of therapy.
Our resident professional storyteller, Naomi Baltuck, gifts us with four photo stories, small gems that will make you smile and laugh and remind you of what really matters in life.
The poem, Mourning Brooch, reflects on the power of memory when it evolves into story. John Anstie‘s poem is a love story for his grandson. How many of us have told our children or grandchildren stories about their birth, it’s meaning to us, and what we want to leave them as legacy? Turtle Speaks explores meaning in Native American stories about Turtle. Charlie Martin, Joe Hesch and Myra Schneider use poetry to tell their stories or those of others. For Charlie it’s all about social conscience, compassion and justice. For Joe Hesch it’s often about nature and history. For Myra it’s about the different ways that both fine art and everyday things move her … and by extension, us.
Señora Ortega’s Frijoles is a short story about dichos (sayings), which are used to pass tradition and values from one generation to the next … just like storytelling.
Silva Merjanian shares four poems from her second collection, Rumor (Cold River Press). We introduced Silva here last month. Silva’s poems tell us the stories of war – not simply a reaction to the news of war as in my own The Doves Have Flown – but her experience of war.
We shared in the last issue that Silva and her publisher are donating all profits from the sale of Rumor to the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund. As I was preparing this intro I learned that thus far they have raised $1,397.73. Well and kindly done, Silva.
The use of poetry to raise funds for worthy causes is not new to our contributors and readers. John Anstie and the Grass Roots Poetry Group donate the funds from Petrichor Rising to UNICEF. Therein lies another story featured this month: “Petrichor Rising” … or how the Twitterverse birthed friendships that in turn birthed a poetry collection …
With a nod toward spring in the Western Hemisphere, Corina Ravenscraft serves up a charming soupçon of gardening advice, a small treasury of hints to help you garden with simplicity, patience, and compassion. It’s all about balance, whether you are caring for plants or for your own spirit.
As you go through your days, do your work and practice your art, we hope you keep in mind the meaning and value of the stories you hear and read and of your own story as it unfolds. We hope you’ll share your stories in the comment sections here or via books or blogs or at gatherings of family and friends.
Enjoy this issue. Be sure to “like” and comment to let contributors know what you think and that you value their hard work and their contributions. The BeZine is entirely a volunteer effort, a gift of love. (Our mission statement is HERE.) Any ads you see are not our own. They are WordPress ads used to defray their cost of hosting blogs and websites.
Be the peace.
Thanks for visiting us.
Illustrations: Header via Wikipedia under CC BY-SA 2.0 license, A very fine par dated 1938 A.D. The epic of Pabuji is an oral epic in the Rajasthani language that tells of the deeds of the folk hero-deity Pabuji, who lived in the 14th century.; photo #1 (public domain) via The How and Why Library, E. Irving Couse, A. N. A.; The Historian; The Indian Artist is painting in sign language, on buckskin, the story of a battle with American Soldiers; photo #2 (public domain) via Wikipedia, The Boyhood of Raleigh by Sir John Everett Millais, oil on canvas, 1870. A seafarer tells the young Sir Walter Raleigh and his brother the story of what happened out at sea.
Core Team and Guest Contributor Biographies
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Healing Stories by Michael Watson, M.A., Ph.D., LCMHC
Survival Stories by Naomi Baltuck
The Inside Story by Naomi Baltuck
To See the World by Naomi Baltuck
Rather Than Curse the Darkness by Naomi Baltuck
Señora Ortega’s Frijoles by Jamie Dedes
An Apology from Your Grandfather by John Anstie
The Mourning Brooch by Jamie Dedes
Turtle Speaks by Jamie Dedes
The Doves Have Flown by Jamie Dedes
The Discovery of Grass by Joseph Hesch
In Audience with the Queen by Joseph Hesch
dance to life’s music by Charles W. Martin
no translation necessary by Charles W. Martin
honey … I swear this is for the birds … by Charles W. Martin
Beirut by Silva Merjanian
Collateral Damage by Silva Merjanian
Doves of Beirut by Silva Merjanian
Rooftop by Silva Merjanian
Bird by Myra Schneider
Milk Bottle by Myra Schneider
Being a More Compassionate Gardener by Corina Ravenscraft
“Petrichor Rising” … or how the Twitterverse birthed friendships that in turn birthed a poetry collection … by John Anstie and Jamie Dedes