Sunday, April 20, 2008

Home from Going Deep, part III

Now back to your regularly scheduled program...

One of the many things I enjoy about the Storyteller's Riverhouse is helping in the kitchen. At WOW weekends, it's expected; at Going Deep, it's graciously accepted as long as there aren't too many people milling around. After lunch on Saturday, I pitched in on dishes and potato peeling. What is it about kitchens that brings out good conversation?

That evening after a feast of pork roast, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and more, we were ready to settle in to the ancient world, to Helen's Troy, told by Megan Wells. She's deliberate about the title--this is about the Trojan war from Helen's point of view. I'd seen Megan tell this a few years ago at the National Storytelling Conference in Oklahoma City, so I knew it would be excellent. It was. This story was full of strong, clear images and characters we could believe in (whether we liked them or not).

On the way back to the Riverhouse, after putting the schoolhouse mostly back the way we found it, Olga and I talked about the richness of Megan's story and of the experience, about how wonderful it was to have three different styles of storytelling at Going Deep. Though our stated goal is depth, we also get breadth.

Back at the house, we sat up for a while longer talking, eating cake, drinking a little wine, some of us playing dice. I was exhausted when I finally went to bed.

The final workshop has the added dimension of being cumulative: our discussions brought in perspectives we'd touched on with the other two stories. Megan opened windows on her process for us, showing us ways she thinks about stories and how she works on them. Because of her candidness, and because of the way we had all made the workshops into a safe place, I think we all felt permission to speak (or not) about the issues she raised. We also had the poignancy of knowing it was the last group session.

We did it! It worked! Stay tuned for an announcement about next year.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Congratulations on another Festival/Retreat under the belt!

One of these years, I swear, I'm going to make it out there.

I know I wasn't anywhere near Bethlehem, but... thanks for doing this.