the territory of the heart

What does it take to tell a story? At the beginning of the course ‘the Now of storytelling’ at the international school of storytelling in Forest Row, UK, we are exploring love and fear and the territory of the heart. A group of students from 12 nationalities has come together to develop their ability to tell stories. I am here as apprentice teacher with Ashley Ramsden and Roi Gal-Or, two inspiring teachers who bring their wisdom, humility and experience of the craft to the task of gently guiding a group to realise their ambitions for this work.
It is not just outer work. To become a storyteller, or to undertake any task wholeheartedly, we begin with who we are and how we are in the world. Stories are one of the languages of the heart and they require us to know our own hearts well: our fears, loves, passions and wounds. This is where we begin.
For me, this is not always easy. My head, accustomed to mastery, cedes its sovereignty with reluctance. Yet, the heart remains persuasive. This week, I languished with a cold and headache for a day or two as my body resisted the call of the heart. Yet, in this place where lush green is about to be sacrificed in a great russet celebration of transformation, there is no excuse for not joining in. I willingly seek to ally the courageous, loving, compassionate power of the heart with the sparkle of the mind.
I look forward to all the stories we will hear, learn and tell.