Telling, and re-telling our stories

I’ve been musing yet again about the importance of story telling. Something I did extensively during and after my post as Writer-In-Residence with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre in 2016/7. 

Annemarie Ní Churreáin has an excellent article in The Journal where she links the importance of story telling and power and the silence when stories are not allowed to be retold. In particular, she writes about Joanne Hayes and The Kerry Baby Case and reminds us how

It’s a very human thing to seek answers through the making of marks on a page or the creation of a sound.

I would urge you to read Ní Churreáin’s collection Bloodroot (Doire Press, 2017) where you’ll find her powerful poem ‘The Kerry Foot’ at Cahir Saidhbhín which, she says she wrote “with the greatest respect for Joanne Hayes, and out of a sense of personal sadness for us all.”

It is, I now think, the re-telling of stories as much as the stories themselves that stay with us. As Elias Canette says in The Voices of Marrakesh: A Record of a Visit. 

The largest crowds are drawn by the storytellers. It is around them that the people throng most densely and stay longest…their words come from farther off and hang longer in the air than those of ordinary people.