North of the equator, as I write this, we’re right in the middle of Summer and it’s 114 degrees outside- or 45 degrees for those of you using another measuring system. I think I want to live in Australia during June, July and August.
Of course, during Summer, the national park system in the U.S. is in full business, with people wanting to go camping, relaxing and getting away.
I recently read an article where a ranger at one of the parks was interviewed. He said that the number of guests in the park are shrinking. His experience suggests that one of the reasons is that people can not use their wireless devices in the campgrounds. He goes on to say that people will ask, “Do you have wireless Internet in the camps?” His concluding thought is that people forget it’s okay to just watch the sun set and turn our brains off for a while. A sort of “un-wiring” if you will.
For me, un-wiring is one of my joys in storytelling. The blatantly acoustic, un-wiring of and with my audiences as we move past the technology back into our the minds and hearts is, sometimes, my job.
Recently after I told for a group of 8-11 year olds one of the staff mentioned how rapt in attention (the storytelling trance?) the young ones were. A few moments earlier the children were bragging to each other about how many “R rated”(no one under 17 without a parent) movies they had seen. They talked eagerly about instant messaging and email. Yet, while I told the stories, the children moved from wired wireless consumers to those wanting and needing to be transported to another time and place where the animals speak, the Smallest saves the day, the rains rain and the eagles soar above confines of the farm.
But it’s not just the children who un-wire when we tell. The same adult staff member said to me, “And you know what...I found myself just staring at you as you spoke and living in all those stories, too.” I think we might all need a chance to un-wire every now and then.
Yes, I know the irony of writing this for an electronic newsletter. Is the glowing box you and I are staring at in this moment bringing us closer to truth, love and life? Sometimes it can be a tool to learn how to do that and we hope that Storyteller.net, wired as we are, helps you to learn to help others un-wire.
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