I found this lecture by Australian author Tim Winton enjoyable for several reasons. The book that the lecture is based on is, of course, a form of bardistry – a story that works as simply a story, as well as having an underlying narrative that illustrates something else that is happening within the society that it is based in.
In the lecture itself Tim Winton, although not using the terms explicitly, describes the creation of story as channelling from both the Awen, and characters themselves – they are both created and limited by him, yet have their own life and spirit.
During the course of the talk he also shows how he can talk around and through the story to pick out the ‘bigger meaning’ behind the obvious, how the story/myth is used as metaphor for something else, which is what we try to achieve through our bardic training in druidry.
The lecture takes the storyline into conversation. Maybe this is something that is lacking today, as we tend to read our stories solo from books. I can imagine older times when our myths and stories were spoken, to groups so that they became a shared experience, and conversation happened later on to pick out the elements of how the myth is played out in current life, what lessons there are to be learned from it, what societal values are repeated and re enforced by understanding the allegory.
Today we look at our myths as takes from the past, something to learn and perhaps repeat parrot fashion. The stories that last through the ages, although set in different times and values can similarly be dived into, as a lived experience. Look beyond the surface, what are the deeper meanings, how do we see them repeated in our lives today, what insight do they offer us into our lives today? What values do our stories illustrate? What should be be trying to achieve? What is the message beyond simple entertainment that is inside the narrative?