Pin It

Woodstock Story Festival 

The Tales We Tell

click to enlarge Peter Blum
  • Peter Blum

"Story is the default setting of the brain," says Peter Blum, a Woodstock-based hypnotherapist and sound healer. "It takes less energy to generate a story than it does to meditate."

Blum is the founder of the Woodstock Story Festival, which will celebrate stories in the arts, education, therapy, business, mythology, and medicine April 30 through May 1 at Mountain View Studio in Woodstock. "Story is all there is. It is the thread that holds our worlds and our perceptual reality together," says Blum. We come to know ourselves and others through stories, as well as our culture, our minds, and our own inner worlds. Stories are the vehicle through which consciousness expresses and learns to understand itself.

Everywhere we go, we carry with us clouds of words, thoughts, ideas, impressions, perceptions, and memories. We are walking databases of stories. According to Lewis Mehl-Madrona, author of Remapping Your Mind, this swarm of stories is referred to as the nagy in the Lakota tradition. The nagy consists of every story we have ever heard, told, or are enacting as we move through our lives.

click to enlarge Lewis Mehl-Madrona
  • Lewis Mehl-Madrona

Mehl-Madrona suggests that stories are at the root of illness—our biological story about how we are living creatures who eventually grow weak and die is one of our core stories. He writes, "Within medicine, narrative reminds us that illness is always caught up in stories involving families, jobs, cultures, and meanings and is not limited to the simply biological rendering, which we call 'the natural history of the disease.'"

This is why mantras and storytelling are so powerful. By using the voice, the speaker and listener are healed at a deeper level through sound—which repatterns the neural pathways in the brain, similar to how brainwave entrainment, a method of stimulating the brain through sound frequency or light to bring about a certain mental state, works.

click to enlarge Shelly Stockwell-Nicholas
  • Shelly Stockwell-Nicholas

Along with Mehl-Madrona, other talespinners at the Woodstock Story Festival include David Gonzalez, a storyteller and writer, performing MytholoJazz—featuring the classic Greek tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice set to scat jazz. Elizabeth Cunningham, author of The Maeve Chronicles, will be sharing storytelling insights and a guided meditation designed to inspire listeners to reimagine their own lives.

Local resident Gioia Timpanelli, a writer and a major influence in the worldwide revival of storytelling, also joins the event. For Timpanelli, stories are all about the awakening of consciousness. "To tell a story creates a field of images for the imagination to express what we feel and think individually and communally. By being present, the story touches the level of experience in each participant (including the teller) and allows for a lively exchange. All kinds of possibilities appear just because the story is told," she states.

click to enlarge David Gonzalez
  • David Gonzalez

The festival aims to attract anyone who feels the power of storytelling, as well as teachers, educators, psychologists, and therapists. Blum sees endless opportunities for this festival—with the possibility of making it an annual occurrence across multiple venues along with a potential evening of traditional outdoor storytelling underneath the night sky near a campfire.

The Woodstock Story Festival takes place at the Mountain View Studio in Woodstock from 1pm to 9pm on Saturday, April 30, and from 10am to 5pm on Sunday, May 1. Tickets are $150 for both days and $95 for one day. Woodstockstoryfestival.com

  • The first-ever Woodstock Story Festival takes place on April 30 and May 1.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Religious Dimensions of the Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis @ Taylor Hall Room 203 at Vassar College

Religious Dimensions of the Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis

Wed., March 29, 5-7 p.m. — Religious studies expert Robert Orsi will deliver the annual Frederic C. Wood...

Mark Hummel's Golden State Lone Star Revue

Wed., March 29, 7 p.m. — Blues harmonica....

View all of today's events

Latest in Festivals

Related to Festivals

  • La Guelaguetza Festival
  • La Guelaguetza Festival

    For the eighth year this August, Grupo Folclórico de Poughkeepsie is bringing La Guelaguetza to Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie, to share the tradition with locals.
    • Aug 1, 2016
  • Hudson’s Gateway for Music and Art Lovers
  • Hudson’s Gateway for Music and Art Lovers

    With a broad range of programming like experimental film screenings, unconventional art events, and community gatherings, Basilica Hudson draws crowds. And their antifestival, Basilica SoundScape, offers families a chance to get in on the action on September 13th.
    • Aug 31, 2015
  • More »

More by Diana Waldron

Hudson Valley Tweets