Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Lost Arts

On Saturday I went with Sheryl and her family to a storytelling festival being held at BYU. Now, I will admit that at first I was skeptical. Was this going to be a repeat of those days in the elementary school library? Was I going to be read Dr Seuss and Amelia Bedillia? Not say that I did not enjoy those books and still find pleasure in reading them, but I am a little older now. So it was with slight trepidation that I took my seat and waited for the entertaining to being.

WOW! I was completely blown away. This was storytelling as I never experienced it before. Not only were there your more commonplace stories to entertain and teach values, but there were a few that were poignant reminders of those truths in life that we often choose to avoid.

Over the past several days, I've pondered the lost arts, not just of storytelling, but of writing and conversation. Years ago these were the qualities that defined a person's character, giving them dignity and distinction. Now everything is done in electronic format through email, IMing, facebook, etc. Not to say that I don't appreciate these forms of communication. I do. I love that I can quickly and easily communicate with almost anyone, anywhere in the world. But I think something was lost in the transition. The impersonality related to the ease of our present communications has contributed greatly to the decline in people's ability to relate face to face.

Now maybe this is a problem that only I face, but I doubt it. Sometimes I wish for those days when people were schooled in conversation, when letter writing was an art form, and when hearing a story captivated an audience the way movies do today. I would never trade our advances in technology for those of an earlier time. But occassionally I wish that I could spend meaningless days in a stream of busy nothings, concerned only with enjoying the small magical moments that create beauties unseen by this fast paced, modern world.


  1. Wow! That sounds like a cool thing to go to. Kevin and I listened to a book on tape over the summer that was read by the author who happened to be a professional story teller. It really is an art and I loved listening to his book!

  2. I agree that those skills are all too often 'lost' in today's society. Those that take the time to master them go far and are very successful! I working on it and hope to be really good at it someday, too.