This past week, the Fall 2020 cohort have been crafting, concocting, and spell-casting their Parallel Narratives. What magic will come from the imaginations of The Writer, The Cartomancer, The Mixologist, The Rock Musician, The Folklorist, and The Thespian? After several weeks of immersion into the folkloric imagination, devised narrative, emergent collaboration, and oral history, our final story circle will commence on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020. Yes, tomorrow these brave ones join a continuum of storytellers who have used the oral tradition to boldly sync with their ancients, their communities, and their future selves. A passage from the Brothers Grimm to put wind under their wings:

…in myths that tell of a golden age, all of nature is alive: the sun, the moon, and the stars are approachable, give gifts, and can even be woven into gowns; dwarfs mine metals in the mountains; mermaids leap in the water; birds (doves are the most beloved and most helpful), plants and stones all speak and know just how to express their sympathy; even blood can call out and say things. This poetry exercises certain rights that later storytelling can only strive to express through metaphors. The easy, innocent familiarity between large and small is indescribably endearing, and we get more pleasure from a conversation between the stars and a poor child abandoned in the woods than from hearing the music of the spheres. Everything beautiful is golden and strewn with pearls; there are even golden people living there; misfortune, by contrast, is a dark power, a dreadful cannabilstic giant who is however, vanquished, since a good woman who knows just how to avert misfortune stands by to help. These narratives always end by opening the prospect of boundless happiness. […]

Every day offers moments when man can rid himself of everything that is false and can see clearly; on the other hand, the magic spell is never completely broken, and a swan’s wing is left in place of an arm. Or because a tear was shed, an eye is lost with it. Or worldly cleverness is humbled, and the numbskull alone, ridiculed and despised by everyone, yet pure of heart, had good fortune. In these features we can see the basis for the moral precept or for the relevant object lesson that can be derived from these tales; it was never their purpose to instruct, nor were they made up for that reason, but a moral grows out of them, just as good fruit develops from healthy blossoms without help from man. The proof of all authentic [storytelling] is that it is never without some connection to real life and returns to it, just as clouds return to their place of birth once they have watered the earth.”

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. Preface to Volume 1 of the First Edition of Children’s Stories and Household Tales, 1812.

Light a candle from 6-8 pm EST tomorrow and you might just plug into the vibes of our deep dive into the collective imagination. Did you feel a shift at that time? Did the spell interrupt the day to day? Let us know in the comments below!