Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May report on my storytelling

Report on my storytelling.

“Truth used to run around the world naked.
Everyone was frightened and avoided him.
He saw someone dressed in beautiful robes surrounded by friends.
Truth asked her name.
She answered, "I am story. I could dress you."
And from that day forth Truth and Story traveled mostly together,
but not always."
--A Jewish tale
Some of you know I have decided to spend whatever energies God yet allows me, beyond my usual haunts, hustings and houndings, in the art and practice of storytelling. Some rationale is noted below. This is my May update.

Had a paid gig to tell stories to the Spring Gathering of Presbyterian Women, a few Saturdays ago, about 125 from some 30 churches in central Kentucky. My theme was Creation and Amazement, (my favorite themes) and it was well received. Lots of compliments. I design my stories to get people and Christians to think “out of the box,” by challenging their usual way of thinking about life, love, faith, the bible and ultimate reality. I first got into this back in the 1980s when I found that some clients in my counseling practice didn’t realy want to change, but rather preferred to be more comfortable in their personal drama. I played with designing stories, sorta bouncing their situation off the wall in a different frame, to mirror their situation and these seemed to work better. Like a parable, they could choose an authentic response, which was then their choice and not mine.

In my Creation Midrash stories, I retell Genesis chapter 2 \with a different theology of Original Blessing, via dialogue between Adam and Eve and God. Some of my other subjects are “The Miracle of the Human Heart,” Personal stories, Growing up Catholic in a small town, and funny anecdotes from family. But I now have a large collection of favorites.

Last night downtown, at a benefit for Kentucky Storytelling Association to which I belong, I shared storytelling with Mary Kane, another teller who is also regular part of my prison ministry,. The venue was at a center city Lexington restaurant, which was my first really public gig. We all had a good time. Each time is a stretch for me, and I learn from every telling how to do it better, often some tweaking of the story or setting the stage.

I have been telling stories in our public schools, as a member of our Lexington Spellbinders group. This is sponsored by the Lexington Public library, which also offers training for this purpose. It is a lot fo fun to get oohs and ahhs and gazes of wonder and awe from the kiddies.
I usually tell to 2 to 4th graders, as I am developing my repertoire of appropriate stories for public schools, mostly folk tales, etc. Spellbinders is a national group and you can find their website.

I talk about these experiences at several blogs which you can access via my writing page www.paschalbaute.com/writing. My storytelling blog is AMAZEMENT.

Recently I led several workshops for Ohio Psychologists on how to use the power of story in therapy and clinical work. If the next FCM meeting is in Columbus, Ohio, in 08, I would be glad to lead a workshop on storytelling there, “God willing the crick don’t rise.”

The Power of Story____
. People of ancient civilizations have all known a wisdom via storytelling. Stories map our inspirations, our hopes, our memories and our dreams.

The power of storytelling is that it makes us realize what is humanly possible.

STORIES summon, guide, inspire and empower us. People resist advice, admonition or counsel for many reasons. Story by-passes the logical, rational mind and hooks the creative inner Child to allow oneself to transform the situation on one’s own terms - authentically.

Together we learn to discover and design stories to do this, including our own stories. A growing body of literature supports and describes this process.


Paschal Baute is a storyteller in the Celtic tradition honoring all of nature as sacred and each person as blessed by birth. He developed storytelling as a tool for building bridges and changing worlds. He recently taught storytelling workshops for Ohio Psychologists and leads the Bluegrass Guild described above

I have just completed a tri-fold brochure on my storytelling ministry and would be glad to send a copy to any of you considering such ministry. Kindly send a business size, stamped and self-addressed envelope, to
Paschal Baute
4080 Lofgren Ct.
Lexington, Ky 40509