Monday, April 11, 2011

Back, sort of

I'm back in a way..
The tent was pitched, in the middle of a huge "square" in the city of Kerkyra on the island of corfu
I haven'y had time since Thursday to upload the fotos
There were moments of bliss, the tent full of people listening, entranced, to stories
There were moments of exhaustion ..driving the van by a river in the mountains..8 hrs drive..arriving to find there was no provision for electricity(how else would the drill work? or would we be hammering into tarmac, 45 holes?) and then the police hadn't been notified so we had to stop until that got sorted out..
and then having to be there, watching, guarding, telling, cleaning rugs and pillows for 16 out of 24 hours
but it was all ok in the end,
more than ok
yes, I believe in magic
storks clacking away in their treetops at dawn
a tiny bird stealing wool from a flokati rug to line its nest
the lizard that stood guard next to me for hours looking at the tent from its stone, there in the park
the children talking to the genie of the lamp, they saw it, they really did
the swallows swooping and crying to each other every morning and evening
the people from morocco and afganistan and albania who gathered in and around the tent to tell me their stories after everyone had left
Thodoris and Alekos who catered for an "official" event in the tent who fed anyone who asked for food after the mayor and the ambassadors had had their fill of couscous and hummus
the way the young men looked at the meat before making the courage to ask for some
oh the stories I heard...


grace Forrest~Maestas said...

i want Anything, Everything you
can tell about this
the pictures that rose up in my
mind upon reading these words...
oh oh SIGH, i want to hear All of

Manya Maratou said...

I have realised that a storyteller is firstly a storylistener
and that small, dark greenish charcoally lizard so present and observant
I talked to it and to you by talking to it
and there I was this greek woman carrying a tent from morroco and bringing it to greece and the young immigrants gathering around it to "smell" home, and telling me of their villages and their mothers
and happy that I had been there they wanted to hear how many hours I spent in fez, or rabat, or casablanca, and did I like it
and then they started bringing me papers from courts so I could translate the legalese for them
each encounter a story, a way, a life
and, at the same time, the children coming in to hear stories and their eyes wide like plates and their jaws dropping as they heard of the desert, of pirates and leopards that are women
and the high schools that heard how a woman told stories every night for three years and softened the heart of the king who wanted to kill all women
and now I'm back
sort of

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

thank you. Thank You so MUCH for
putting this here...telling the
story of the story telling
i needed to read this.

and i am whirling within these words, thinking
and one of the things i am thinking
and i don't know about what i think about it is...that these
story times stay "happening", stay
alive, like, are floating in some
uhhh, time/space,
oh...i don't know
but i thank you so very much for
telling this

Valerianna said...

I hear the echos... I know what you mean about storytellers being storylisteners. I find most of the stories I tell now from the forest, stones, trees.... they literally DROP into me from time to time and I know it is time to tell it. I've been so busy with other things that MUST be done, that I don't have so much time for listening. So the stories don't drop in, but I know when I journey into deep listening, one will find me.

I love that the lizard sat with you. I felt the heat of sun-hot stone and heard the crunch of dry Greek ground for a moment - and smelled grilled meat, now I'm hungry - for souvlaki and stories!

Joei Rhode Island said...

Life is what you make it...and memories of what we do are all we get to keep.
Manya, so many stories you get to keep... so luscious a life.
Thank you so much for sharing.

Penny Berens said...

Many, what a magnificent gift you have. Not only do you create a magical environment to share your stories in; but you also create a safe place where people can come and be heard by a caring soul.

Cheryl Razmus said...

I have such a suburban (boring) American life, I can't even imagine the thrill of doing what you did. You are like a rock star to me! Please keep sharing more.

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