The Story Witch stirs the cauldron. A friend called asking me if I were giving my “Tap Memoir & Write Memoir” workshop at Book Passage on November 1st because it was All Saints Day. Well, no. That timing had never occurred to me, but it’s an interesting tie, and it provoked a good chuckle between us.
Many people are dwelling on Halloween this weekend: witches on broomsticks silhouetted by the moon – black cat as faithful companion along for the ride; monsters and superheroes; and ghouls, werewolves, and vampires. I know Macbeth doesn’t have anything to do with Halloween, but ever since I was one of the three Witches, just a ‘few’ years ago in our high school rendition of this Shakespearean tragedy, I find myself each Halloween reciting,
“Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing –
For a charm of pow’rful trouble
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”
Back to All Saints Day: My passion in encouraging and teaching folks to Give the Gift of Story by “Keeping Spirits Alive One Story at a Time” is all about writing a short, true tale that captures the character and spirit of their mothers’ or another person significant in their lives, as no photograph could ever do.
It is not about memorializing our mothers or others as “saints,” by any stretch of the imagination. The main characters in our bio-vignettes often come with warts and wrinkles rather than haloes and wings. I’ve listened to and read many a story where, from the daughters’ memories, one would think their mothers vamped the blood right out of them. However, 90% of the bio-vignettes in my TellTale Souls collection are heartfelt slices of life. Anyway you look at it, through the dark, the light, and the gray shades, memoirs connect us with the truth about what it means to be human.
Here is a portion of the Wikipedia article on All Saints Day: The feast of All Saints achieved great prominence in the ninth century, in the reign of the Byzantine Emperor, Leo VI "the Wise" (886–911). His wife, Empress Theophano—commemorated on December 16—lived a devout life. After her death, her husband built a church, intending to dedicate it to her. When he was forbidden to do so, he decided to dedicate it to "All Saints," so that if his wife were in fact one of the righteous, she would also be honored whenever the feast was celebrated.
Now is the time to remember and recognize, with a Gift of Story, a significant person in your life: Tap Memory & Write Memoir.
You may also purchase Give the Gift of Story: TellTale Souls' Essential Guide to Tap Memory & Write Memoir at Book Passage, Corte Madera.