Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Seanachaí*



* Irish for storyteller.

Funny this. I write stories. I love writing stories. I embroider or expand or elucidate or embellish. Take your pick. That is what storytellers such as myself do. Give us a sliver of a theme and we will give you a buffet. No headlines for us. It is all in the details of the dishes on the dresser or the fire crackling in the hearth and the sound of the rain tap dancing on the roof late at night.

I write them well, I think. As to actually reading them to an audience, I don't think I do that well, though I would love to. I would love to climb outside myself and pretend I too am in the audience enthralled with the spin of the words coming from the stage. I aspire to that. The loss of self in the telling. Eamon Kelly had such a gift, if you ever want to see one of the greatest Seanachaís of all time in action, have a look at this:



And because I am known a wee bit around these parts as a storyteller, I get sent to old people's houses so I can sit and listen to their tales.

What I don't tell anyone is that while giving all appearances of being raptly attentive to their stories, spruced up and laundered for me, The Seanachaí, I am listening fiercely to what is left unsaid.

14 comments:

  1. I too, love to listen to the spaces! Maybe one day I will hear you tell a story!

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOL! Gorgeous accent that storyteller has, WWW! Do you still have yours ? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a wonderful story. Beautifully told, so atmospheric. And the punchline was brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well GM:
    There is talk of The Play going to Ireland next year so your wish may be granted. I will let you know...:D
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  5. T:
    Yes so they tell me, it must be like your good self, we are not aware we have them. If it is pointed out to me, which it is frequently, I get very self-conscious. It spoils the mood.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nick:
    I could listen to him for a month of Sundays and not get bored.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm a decent writer but I've found my sentences to be too long and complicated for reading out loud. The one time I tried to read one of my stories for public radio, I was constantly running out of breath.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good story. Liked the punchline. Reminds me of nights in County Kerry.
    I'm off to spend a weekend round campfires, tents and trees. Maybe I should steal that story.
    Though are people content to listen and wait these days?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Marcia:
    The trick is to mark your stories with pauses so you can take that hidden breath.
    My sentences are run on too but with the pauses marked it is effortless.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  10. BW:
    I find there is such a hunger out there for a good story - TV has wrecked this old tradition but it is being revived, thank heaven.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  11. oh yes! yes to all of this! i bet you listen hard. i can just see it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Laurie:
    Thanks, as always, for your marvellous enthusiasm!
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would love to hear you tell one of your stories. Can you do a audio clip for us, oh please do.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Loved listening to this again. Thank you. He had a great way about him, a real entertainer who delighted in his act.

    You might remember I wrote about this video (and another of Kelly's) a while back, though I focused on the characteristics of his colourful dialect.

    ReplyDelete

Some of you are having trouble, I've removed captcha and verification so we'll see how that goes. My apologies. Blogger is putting up far too many roadblocks. Thanks for the emails alerting me.
wisewebwomanatgmail.com