In Native American culture, the title of honor given a very special storyteller is Twisted Hair. This specially chosen man is the keeper of the stories of the First People. Their tribes are irrelevant, their myths, history and prophesies what must be preserved – what binds them together as one people.
I just finished Holly Sullivan McClure’s book of the same title. Beyond entertaining, it’s a book of learning and teaching, of respect and consequences, a tribute to the lessons, power, and gifts that exist in the listening to and retelling of the important stories. I highly recommend the book to all storytellers, regardless of their medium.
From the time when ancient cultures huddled around a campfire enthralled by the telling of a legend, to today’s people who sit in movie theatres and playhouses, we still enjoy and respect the well-told story.
Another winter holiday season is here and generations will gather together to eat, drink and tell stories. Take advantage of this unique time of sharing and capture the stories. Commit them to paper so they can be remembered and retold when your Twisted Hair no longer walks among us. We have much to learn from them.
As writers, we have a gift that comes with responsibility: To preserve the stories, to keep them safe for the future, to pass them along to the generations.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Hope your blessings are many and your troubles are few.