"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Unable to Hear: Time Still Chimes Forth

As a storyteller, sometimes the mouth is cherished more so than the ears.

Foolish me.

Besides, my story buddy, Holly Robison, is always saying, "
I've got a nose for a tale, so lend me an ear!"

In any case, it was a relief to have our practice in-person after last week's practice over the telephone with Holly.

She harmonizes two songs in the Colombian story The Gardener's Wife and the phone does not give justice to the singing. I could barely hear her so to know if all went well.

Yet, even with our in-person practice today, it seemed that something was wrong with my left ear.

It was as if someone had stuffed a sock into my ear.

My schedule was so intense that I thought, "I have no time to see a doctor!"

But I worried.

Strange that I comforted myself with, "My right ear works fine."

I searched online and searched for my symptoms. One link told me to hum. If I sounded louder from the side of the clogged ear, then most likely it was not a permanent hearing loss.

I sounded louder.

I did not feel an urgent need to see the doctor then.

As soon as Holly and I finished practicing, I headed to the Ruth Vine Taylor Library to meet with my Utah Storytelling Guild friends Carol Esterreicher and Jan C. Smith.

Carol, Jan, and I meet every 3rd Thursday to improve either the development of stories or the development of our story business.

To no one's surprise, I wanted to practice a story for the premiere.

As I told The Gardener's Wife with Holly, I chose to tell The Changeling with Carol and Jan.

Though, stewing inside my brain (besides an ear problem) was when I discovered that the same night as my Family Famine: Hunger for Love premiere was another storytelling concert in the neighboring town despite my efforts to avoid such a scheduling conflict.

My frustration must have merged into my telling of the Irish tale as Jan commented how much dark this story seemed.

She mentioned two moments that made it dark:
1. Mrs. Lynch and the way child abuse was alluded to in relation to her son and how Mrs. Sullivan responds
2. Mrs. Sullivan and the choice whether to send a red-hot poker down the changeling's throat in order to receive her baby back

Knowing that The Changeling would be the first story told at the premiere, Jan expected more of a "ha-ha" kind of story.

There were a few moments of humor, but it had more a creepy or ghostly feel than anything else.

I had two decisions before me:
1. Would I listen to this reaction and lighten the mood of the story?
2. Would I see the doctor to be able to hear. . .properly?

Time would have the answer for time still chimes forth whether or not I choose to listen.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Former Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance (2005-2008)
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com
Other places to find me: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Professional Storyteller

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