Recently I watched the wondrous storyteller Auntie Julie Freeman share a creation story: Narawarn and the coming of the Sea.
A few years ago, as part of Corroboree Sydney I was lucky enough to sit and hear her tell stories of her people. She is an elder and a Traditional Owner from Wreck Bay in the Booderee region of NSW.
She holds the very special and important role of storyteller. Since the beginning of time, storytelling has played an important role in Aboriginal culture.
The stories are about the air, the land, the universe, their people, their culture and their history. They are handed down from generation to generation.
As I sat listening to Julie, I hung on her every word. I was enthralled. She made me laugh and she made me cry.
She shared stories about ‘deadly beautiful’ women and the troubles of brothers Whale, Starfish and Koala. She shared the story about how the blue-tongued lizard got its blue tongue and why the platypus looks likes two animals put together.
She said that once you start seeing the stories in the landscape, you start seeing it differently. “Everything is connected – the ocean, the wind, the trees, the landscape and the people.”
It was storytelling at its finest: true, powerful, emotional and wondrous. How could a story that started maybe 100,000 years ago not have all of those qualities?
I am truly blessed to live in a country that has stories woven into its landscape, and people like Julie telling them.
I truly believe that every person has stories to tell; stories that share who we are, what we stand for and why others should get to know us.
We are all connected through our shared experiences and the stories we should be telling. It’s time you start telling yours.
Tweetable: Why we cry salty tears – learning from the original storytellers @CatrionaPollard http://bit.ly/2bDiWTB