World Storytelling Day 2013

By Limor Shiponi

To the great clan of dream weavers, yarn spinners, wordsmiths, spell binders, time voyagers, truth seekers often named liars – today is the day we forgive our fellow ignorant; cultural bridge builders and walkers, secret whisperers, tradition carriers, makers and breakers; who mantle truth with story, in joy and in sadness, to sooth body, mind, heart and spirit in great wisdom and kindness; today is our day – like any other day, we just decided this one is special for the sake of others to recognize; to all masters of the spoken word – today we tell about Fortune and Fate. Listen now all the rest and beware what you wish for…

This year I’ve decided to do a private reading and telling of the tale The Seven Beggars told by Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav – which will take me approximately all night to tell. Just to give you a sense of it:

I will tell you how people were happy once.

Once there was a king. This king had an only son, to whom he wished to give the kingdom while he, the king, was still alive (most unusual, don’t you think?). Well’ on the appointed day, he held a great feast. When the king makes a feast there is always great rejoicing and all the more so on such a great occasion. Every one of the royal ministers and the nobles was there, and the common folk too shared in the day’s gladness (I wouldn’t miss it for my life), because it is a great deed when a king abdicates in favor of his son. Everything was prepared to make the feast a joyous event, with musicians and jesters were there to entertain the guests (in case you were wondering how I got invited).

At the height of the festivities, the king said to his son, “I can foresee that a time will come when you will step down from the throne. When this happens, take care not to fall into sadness, be joyful. When you are joyful, I too shall be happy. I would be happy even were you to be sad, for it would show that you were unworthy of being king, and I would be pleased that you no longer ruled the land. But if you are joyful, I shall be very happy indeed.”

Can’t wait for tonight but I will.

Happy World Storytelling Day 2013 to all my fellow storytellers wherever you might be.

And Shalom to President Obama. In the realm of story, nothing is a coincidence, just either fortune or fate and most probably both; to life.


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