I love the old stories, the legends and lays of ancient times when the world, from our vantage point, seemed both a more innocent and more magical place, where the impossible walked hand in hand with the improbable and where worlds seemed interwoven through the warp and weft of reality.
The tales tell of monsters and battles, quests and fair maidens, intrigue and magic. At least on one level. It is possible to hear in them still the crackle of the fire and the cadence of the bard holding spellbound an audience. Yet to listen to these stories in the silence of the heart is to realise how much they hold. In storytelling there is a perfect way to commit history to memory, to teach of new advances and preserve old lore, to guide the heart and mind through the hidden valleys of wisdom and show not only a way to live but a reason for life and the winding pathways we traverse.
The stories were simply stories… tales to while away the evenings round the hearth or fill the mead hall with sound. They were entertainment in much the same way as our society sits on its sofa watching fantasy and documentary on TV. We choose whether to be amused or informed. So did our forefathers, but perhaps it was the level of attention and engagement that changed not the tale.
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