Minotaur’s a-Maze-ing Labyrinth Part 1


 

Ancient societies and modern-day cultures have embraced the mystical, often spiritual power of labyrinths and mazes. Its ancient symbols are still found etched on cave walls, the sides of pottery and coins, on the floors of buildings and in the architectural design of gardens. Labyrinths have one opening where mazas are designed with an array of openings and dead ends, offering travelers a variety of choices throughout the course of their journey. Walking a labyrinth has been said to calm or quiet the mind as one engages in the seemingly, a directionless course of its journey.

During the Middle Ages Labyrinths represented the spiritually challenging road leading to God. Poor people, unable to make the spiritually esteemed pilgrimages to distant lands, walked local labyrinths. As Labyrinths too,  symbolize a path to God or to enlightenment.

Labyrinths mystical power and enchanting allure can also be found in various stories throughout history. One such story takes us to the Greek island of Crete. Due to some unusual circumstances following his son’s birth, King Minos commissioned a famed architect named Daedalus to build an intricately designed housing unit, also referred to as a labyrinth, for his son the Minotaur. Minotaur being half man and half bull, was not your average child. However, his unique form and birthing circumstances had more to do with Poseidon, the Greek god of the ocean, and his father than any genetic or medical abnormalities.

Actually the whole birth debacle had resulted in a breach of contract between King Minos and Poseidon. It all started with King Minos’s challenging relationship with his siblings. A who gets the throne sibling rivalry scenario. Instead of hiring a therapist, Minos asked Poseidon to lend a hand, or in this case, to lend him a magnificent white bull. The bull was to be a sign of blessing from the gods in favor of Minos taking over the throne. Poseidon agrees with one string attached. King Minos only gets the bull if he sacrifices it as an offering to back to Poseidon. A legal binding contract in the form of a verbal agreement was made.

True to his word, the Greek god of ocean waters, Poseidon, brings forth a great white bull. A bull far more superior than his land birthed cousins. Of course ocean bulls were far more superior and beautiful and than ordinary land bulls are and much harder to come by. Figuring that for the most part a bull was a bull, King Minos axed a bull of the ordinary land variety as a sacrificial offering back to Poseidon.  Poseidon didn’t react well to the breach of confidence regarding their contractual agreement. In a fit of rage, he whipped up a fresh batch of love potion. Then he gave an extra large dose to King Minos’s wife, Queen Pasiphae. As her newly prescribed fate and destiny would both have it, she fall madly in love with the great white beast.

Queen Pasiphae, in a moment of heated passion, commissioned Daedalus to build her a wooden, custom-made, form-fitting, bull suite. Following a hot date and an adulterous affair,  Queen Pasiphae gave birth to a uniquely featured half bull, half human baby boy. They named him Minotaur. Being a rather unusual child in his physical appearance, dietary needs and temperament, alternative living arrangements for him went to the top of the King’s to-do list. Fortunately for Daedalus’s and his retirement fund, he got the infamous housing contract of the century.

After this elaborate seventh wonder of the world type architectural structure had been built, only one additional external problem remained. It had to do with King Minos’s defeat of the city of Athens. King Minos’s Internal Revenue Collections Agency required city officials to annually cough up seven maidens and seven young men from inside their city limits. Possessing a one-way ticket into the labyrinth, these unfortunate few sacrificially meet their ill-fated, untimely demise by being disemboweled inside the jowls of the famed Minotaur.

King Minos figured he had the whole situation under control until another ill-fated love affair once again turned the tide of certain uncertainty.

Minotaur’s a-Mazing-Labyrinth Part ll

Until next time and part 11 . . . Let your Storyographer’s journey begin!

Problem Drama – Story’s Sizzle


 

ship-1366926_640Drama Queens and Trauma Junkies UNITE! Problem drama’s struggles, scandals, catastrophes and gossip continue to engage, enthrall, and entice audiences of all ages. With the captivating scent and the juicy allure of socially deviant problems, socially propelled drama, high paced gossip and devilish deeds, a story’s story line comes alive. All capturing audience’s’ attention under the common theme or the questioning intrigue of: “What’s happening? . . . OR . . . Now what? . . . OR EVEN . . . Can you believe this! . . . Let me at them! I’ll teach em a lesson!”

The saga of our day-to-day lives would not be complete without generous portions of problem drama. This type of drama often taking the form of earth shattering news, murderous rampages, plummeting profit margins, raising inflation, workplace cover-ups, extra-curricular marital affairs, gastrointestinal turmoil, and the horrifying reality of daily gossip. Drama queens of all ages, sexes sizes and trans-cultural variety packs unit in the telling and retelling of their daily adventures. The persistently constant, vivid reality of problem drama, marks the events of our lives. Also, the lives of those around us as well as the lives of the characters within our stories. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, without the conflicting struggle of problem drama our world would be in serious danger of a complete communication blackout.

From here let’s revisit the reality of struggle in the story development process. Take a few minutes to catch the buzz on the latest workplace rumors, up to the minute social media epic sagas or the routine chatter and clatter of community gatherings. For it is here that we all find the familiar, yet creatively told and retold accredited validation of daily living’s problem induced sagas. Even in the story of Snow White, the evil Queen makes reference to her educational achievements in the field of black magic while she cleverly turns an apple into a lethal weapon on her continuing quest to permanently kill off the King’s only known offspring. The three little pigs are well noted for their architectural accomplishments the housing industry as well as their structural pitfalls when presented with the bellowing blows of a ravenously hungry, huffing and puffing wolf. Robin Hood’s witty charm, coupled with his legendary bow shooting and money hoisting skills gave hope to local peasants living under the oppressive reign of greedy King John; as their lives and conversations reflected the hardships of the Kingdom’s Revenue Collection Services, debtors’ prison and general economic decline.

So grab your story, a few key characters and step into the life reflecting realm of problem drama. Snatch up some of its alluring reality to soup up your stories, their characters and their turbulent journeys and scandalous life-styles.

 

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Continue!

 

Story Juice – Catch the Squeeze


 

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Juice, a sensory word of paradise. Juice is juice. Whether you squish, squeeze, squash, crush, press or ferment the rich succulence of its oozing nectar; it’s still juice. Juice . . . It’s intense and vibrant color . . . Its tantalizing aroma . . . Its delectable taste . . . All together it is indescribably delicious! Fresh, real, flavorful . . . a definite “in the moment” type of visual appeal, stimulating aroma and tantalizing taste.

Now back to stories. Nothing like some great story juice to pucker up a magnificant tale. The freshness of a new twist, an unexpected angle, a line or an image which absorbs you into the moment significantly enhances the impact of your story-based performance or presentation. Each new squeeze encapsulates the delightful power, the tantalizing essence and the sensory impact of story through the art of storytelling. Story juice definitely slurps up the latest life living drama, the ooh’s, oh no’s and aah’s of mind chatter and the torrential rapids of story life’s rippling adventures.

Story juice seeps through every corner, crook and crevasse in life’s vast expansiveness.  Venturing into the realm of story and story juice . . . select a character in a story that spurs you on, inspires you or possibly one you would love to personally squish like a bug – ooze and all. Now spend some time with your character and the context of the story line. Personally get to know your character. Maybe spend some time with this character in their home, at their favorite hangout, a common meeting place alongside the road of their journey . . . as long as you are both comfortable – although maybe being entirely grossed out, terrified, mortified or creeped out may also have it’s story reigning advantages.

Who is this person or creäture? What do they like to wear? What is their occupational or non-occupational identity? Do they have any friends, enemies, worthy or unworthy opponents? Are they rich, poor, dead broke, under-employed, non-employed, slave labor . . . What is the “sign” they hang out in front of their lives – “Poor me . . . I hear my name – someone, somewhere desperately needs my help . . . I have a pain, or two or three or even four and a whole lot more . . . The economy is out to get me . . . My Mother hates me (so what if she died when I was 68 – I can feel her negativity from her grave) . . . Catching the drip(s)?

The more you spend time with your story’s characters and embrace the reality of their lives, the more vivid and alive they we become to you and your audience.

 

Until next time . . . Let a Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

 

Story’s Setting – Where to Begin


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Knowing where you are is as important in everyday life as it is in story. Much like a building’s address, the setting of your story lets the listeners know where they are going and what they can expect when they arrive. Through the vehicle of story, the storyteller transports their listeners into the physical reality of story’s journey. Story’s location and characters live in the physical reality of story. They too have emotions, lives and physical and emotional challenges like any of us experience.

When developing a story orally, you have only a few simple sentences to quickly bring your listeners into the reality of your story’s setting, unlike authors who can fill pages or even chapters about the setting of their stories. Storytelling happens in the moment. It can’t be repeated, re-run or bookmarked for future reference.

In the beginning of the story as well as the ending of your story, a few carefully crafted and memorized sentences will ensure a strong start and the arrival of your designed ending or story’s destination. The middle, just like any road map, the roads, waterways, back alley’s or fight patterns depends on you the storyteller. As in life, as in story, there are many roads to get to a single destination.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

Listeners – Story’s Fertilizer!


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Storytelling is an interactive art form. One which can not exist or happen without a listener. The interaction between you, the teller, and the listening members of your audience ignite and liven the images of your story’s story. For in the moment it is told, the world of story becomes the listener’s living reality. A story, like our experiences in life, can never be duplicated or experienced in the same way again. The faces of story are as varied as the faces of our audiences. Each time we tell our stories the words, their impact and the audience’s responses will be unique to this moment in time.

Grab a listener and ignite your storytelling jet packs. Take a few minutes and think of a few people who are able to listen. Listening meaning no talking, no editorial comments and no unsolicited remarks. Their job? To listen. To simply listen. Once everyone is assembled, tell your story. Enjoy. Watch and take note. In this moment your story will grow in unexpected ways. Images will become clearer. Your voice tone and canter much stronger. See how unexpected and unrehearsed bits of humor, internal dialog, and moments of awareness or newly inspirited story-line twists and turns happen when you tell and retell your story. By seeing what your audience is hearing and the unique gift of this audience’s interaction, your story’s story-line continues to bloom. Also how easily your story ripens and grows inside of you; the teller.

In the early stages of my story’s development, I ask my responsive listeners to just listen, as I tell my story. Other times, as my story continues to grow and unfold inside of me, I ask, “What do you like about the story? or What did you like about this experience?” Again, I am not asking them for a cirque. I am simply asking what they like about the story and/or the experience. Storytellers through the responses of their listeners are able to see what others are hearing. Storytelling is an interactive, experiential journey into the world of story and the vivid reality of is characters and their lives.

This may also be a great time to secure the services of a storytelling coach. Information on storytelling coaches can be found online or through the National Storytelling Network.

 

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Continue!

 

Words: Do They Speak the Same Language?


Words, the only thing that oral language and written language have in common, yet each one possessing their own kind of life impacting, story filled magic!

Word, a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning.

Storytelling – oral language, expressing the timelessness of now, connecting life’s passing moments to future’s infinite streams of possibility.  Voice’s heart sinking, unspoken meaning: That tone – busted, no further explanation required. The “wave of fear” – courtroom’s witnessing verdict. “I love you” between two lovers in passionate embrace. Human expression, gestures, eye contact, voice tone, facial characterization and physical language takes one beyond the scribed letter of any written word.

Literature – the written word: “All the magic of writing is conveyed with those five kinds of elements. All the passion, logic, imperiousness, inevitability and humor of written language is shaped, like sculpture, from the simple clay of words, punctuation, typography, pictures and materials.” Master Storyteller Doug Lipman

Until next time . . . let a Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

Armed with Nothing but a Handful of Quarters . . .


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Every day brings each one of us so many unique and amazing stories to both share and tell!

We have all been there. Watching our time pieces in fear of the dreaded swing of the parking meter’s arrow. Its ill-fated consequences should we dare go over our allowed, pre-paid time limit. Looking at our watches, we gasp. It’s later than we thought and the metering meter is farther than expected. Rapidly surveying all possible. all most immediate and all practical building entrance and exit options and wishing we had a spare parachute for just such an emergency, we run.

Torn between the professionalism of our trades and the desperation of meeting our doom at the hands of an unknown, often unidentified ticket bearer, the second option talks the lead. Choosing to leave rigid and motionless clutches of professional uncertainty the metered race continues. Unstoppable we race down towering flights of stairs, across semi-vacant rooms littered with people and through hinged doors. Coming face to face with the elements we race on. Our goal, to get there before anyone else does, with our pocket full of quarters.

Yet, unknown and never will be known to any of us, a man, in a simple brown suit armed with a hand full of quarters secretly and effortlessly impedes on the city’s parking violation funds. Without a cape, or a telephone booth to aid in his hidden identity changes he stealth-fully walks down the street, one parking meter at a time. Coming around the corner, continuing on to the road ahead, he stops. He stops next to metalized chunk of rubber-wheeled, motorized containment, called transformation. The very kind and the very one that got you to your current location. Like those meters before, he once again drops in a small handful of quarters just seconds before the parking meter’s ill-fated, needle pointing, predetermined expiration times. Hat’s off and flags a waving to this mysterious man in brown, who walks just footsteps ahead of city’s hired, meter-ticketing collections agent.

 

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin!