Marie Anne McLean - Edmonton, AB
I spent a long time thinking about the quilt this year. Each time we do one, I ponder, again, how to tell about what storytelling means to me.
One day this fall I was listening to David Francey's CD Skating Rink.
It reminded me of two boys that I taught in High Park Elementary School. They gave me an image that seemed to me to be a metaphor for what we do.
Each day after class, they would go home to get their hockey sticks, skates and a puck. I would see and hear them from my classroom directly across from the outdoor rink. Each evening as the early darkness arrived, these boys would play their own wonderful brand of hockey.
As I finished gathering my papers and books, loaded my car and warmed it up for the trip home, the boys would be calling out the fantastic plays that they were carrying out in their imaginations. I could hear their voices calling out the shots and pretending to be the players who were their heroes. It was as though they had climbed into their imaginations and their knowledge of the game that they loved.
When we tell stories, we are a lot like those boys. We climb into the story and let it back out through our voices. The tales are framed from our knowledge of the story, our own imagined form of it and our framing the tale to lead others along with us on the journey.
The wondrous thing about storytelling it is that the imagination part is unique for every teller and listener.
As we tell stories the listeners use all of their personal knowledge and experience to furnish the images that we give in the story. Their cultures, the tellers' cultures and the culture of origin of the story all come together to make a new experience with each telling and with each listener. What a rich gift for each generation to pass on!
So what about our culture?
What could be a more essentially Canadian image than two little boys loving to play hockey on an empty outdoor rink under the fake moonlight of the big white rink light?
So here they are, Sydney and David, skating and shooting and dreaming and living and telling the story of their game.
And like those boys, each of us goes out to dream and live and tell the story of our game.<\br>