The Writer and the Storyteller

I apologize for the brief digression of self-referentiality, but I am very happy for the publication of my short essay on the National Storytelling Network's Magazine:


By Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher

The writer and the storyteller should not be addicted to anyone.
What we create, if we want to share it, is for everyone.
Indeed, for whom among them, even just one person, will accept it.
Who has something to share should not be addicted to people.
I am talking about admiring looks, appreciative comments, Facebook's Likes and Twitter followers, more or less influential quotations, number of website visits.
In brief, popularity.
That is what makes our words weak, and so us.
I know that this cannot diminish our desire to see our things read, watched, listen, and especially loved.
That wish is human.
It should not erase the alive dream of our imagination, enjoying the richness of the best time giving life to the stories we write or tell.
However, the mere need that must move our acting, painting, telling, playing, singing and writing have to be just doing it and nothing else: Art for art's sake.
Sharing outside our own room, via blogs, videos, live shows and storytelling, even sending work to a publisher, is justified if and only if we are completely sure we have pulled out something that deserves to be read, seen or heard.
Looking for ears and eyes at any time, as soon as possible, following praises, applauses and success, is wrong.
We should not look for success at all.
Singers, actors, writers, storytellers, artists in general, do not have to work for the success.
That is the seller.
At the end of the year, he is the one who must check the numbers, counting the sales, receipts and losses, taking care of marketing and the brand.
In my humble opinion, the truth is that who create stories should struggle to listen, not to say.
If we have to tell something, it should come from what we heard, that has invaded us, moving us to share with others in the new form.
Nevertheless, listening needs good silence, careful attention, wide open eyes and ears.
The land of opportunity is here, now, linking words, images and so on, having the time to do it.
The dream is here, today and is working to create a beautiful story, another one, until the breath allows it.
Then, if the story will worth the trip, put it in a bottle and throw it into the sea.
Or the web.
Forgetting all, a moment later we should begin to work on something new.
Because in the land of opportunity there is always someone who might find your story.

Dedicated to Enrique Páez and Beatriz Montero

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Unidentified young girl dead: mystery and dignity

Stories and News No. 772

The mystery girl child found already dead in the United States has not yet been identified.
"She’s a beautiful child, and she deserves dignity here," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said, spreading the photos of the four years old girl.
The nameless girl…

Once upon a time there were the nameless.
Let’s restrict, a little story of a small page won’t be enough.
Let’s limit ourselves to the children.
Then it would be just as long.
But the characters are small, yet free from vain human complications and, perhaps, they will be happy of this terse but heartfelt hospitality.
There are many of them, just look up.
On the tearjerker photos of NGOs seeking solidarity.
And in the videos of the stars involved in a generous mood.
They are there, in front of churches and crowded stores, in the middle of the notable squares and along the walkways between a seat and the other of metropolitan life.
“Many are thieves,” some mumble, “of money and fake tenderness.”
But still virgin souls.
But still victims.
Of the entire world, wait to turn around, no one is excluded.
Children without a name.
Maybe they will have it as well, but who might claim to know?
They are still there, behind us, already on the next box of the big game.
They were, then.
They were the children of others.
Parents that we considered less worthy of respect and love, yes, let’s exaggerate.
Because wrong characters in the wrong story and annoying actors in a perfect scene.
Where everything must be clear.
White and blond.
Let’s expel the accursed fruit of fathers and mothers deviant from the easy story.
Ah, the easy story, how much we like it.
The simple words, good on one side and evil on the other.
And we watch, sedated by the illusion of being mere spectators.
So saved by every possible outcome.
Then someone comes out from nowhere and drags us in, indeed, he does not even need to do that.
He merely whispers a few centimeters from us.
I'm here.
Next to you.
So it means that you are too.
Children without a name.
They do not know ours.
And they do not care.
When they are asking our attention...

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Nicholas Winton Story Today

Stories and News No. 771

Once upon a time there was the story of Nicholas Winton.
Once upon a time there was the British Schindler.
And once upon a time there was the man who, between 1938 and 1939, saved 699 Jewish children from the concentration camps in Czechoslovakia.
As a kind of wonderful letters full of future he had the idea to send them by train in Great Britain to families found by himself.
Sir Nicholas died yesterday, the first of July, but his extraordinary act of heroism was discovered only in 1988, when his wife Greta found evidences in an old photo album.
And the meaning of the story is...
That the real heroes do not boast of their acts?
Perhaps, indeed, yes, it is likely.
But there are also other points of view, the story is rich and complex, and so is the protagonist.
That for this reason too studying the past history is important, because you can always find commendable examples of humanity and the spirit of brotherhood?
Sure, there is no doubt, we do not know everything.
However, stopping at this would be reductive, the matter requires further study.
That even in an incredibly horrible parenthesis of history as the Second World War there were pages of real life that illuminate the mankind’s path?
Yes, that's right, it's always good to remember this.
Nevertheless, if we had not insist in finding other ways we could be disrespectful towards the hero as the heroism.
That each one of us can make heroic acts, because super powers and a lot of money are not indispensable?
Yes, very true and acceptable, especially among young people.
Nonetheless, we might overlook something valuable if we had to close here.
That no one can save the world alone, as he could not succeed in his noble effort without the help of the families who welcomed the children?
That’s natural, it must be said, at all.
However, we would be hasty at this point if we had to put an end.
Maybe the problem is just behind this urgent need we have to see it on the screen as on the printed page, the last one.
The end.
Let’s try to ignore it and let’s see what happens.
There once was Nicholas Winton.
Once upon a time there was Nicholas Winton.
Once upon a time there was the British Schindler.
And once upon a time there was the person who saved almost 700 Jewish kids from the concentration camps.
But if the story is not over yet...
Here it is the other fundamental meaning, the missing one.
That somewhere out there, there are other Schindler’s who, in the silence of the world, save hundreds of lives, young or not, from certain death.
Heroes who we know nothing of.
And anyone of us could make the difference.
Just like the families who adopted the children of Nicholas...

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How racism is taught story

Stories and News No. 770

The alleged perpetrator of an abuse on a sixteen years old girl was arrested in Rome, Italy. He is a thirty-one man from the province of Cosenza, Calabria, a soldier of Defense Ministry, Navy.

If we were in a racist country.

If we were in a racist country, this equation would echo in the minds of many: the men from Calabria are all rapists.
Especially those from the province of Cosenza.
And automatically, in the same superficial cervical, should take the same association if a guy arrived on the public square stating: my name is Giuseppe, a name at random, and I am from Calabria.
What town? The citizens with the weak skull would ask.
The province of Cosenza, the man could answer.
And so here are the suspense, suspicious looks, easy convictions and isolation of the potential brute.
With all the suffering for him.

If we were in a racist country, as powerful the following conclusion should rebound: the soldiers are all rapists.
Especially those of the ministry of defense, Navy.
And therefore, in the same malleable head, equal consideration should be evident, when an ordinary person declared under the audience’s eyes: my name is Francesco, another fictitious name, and I am soldier.
What kind? The humans with crumbly intellect would ask.
Navy, he might respond.
And so here are the tension, the suspicious mutterings, the silent accusations and the safe removal of the criminal.
With all the unjust suffering for the innocent guy.

If we were in a racist country, as a sort of inevitable effect of cause this reasoning should spread: all those of the same nationality or job of the alleged aggressor are used to abuse women.

No... I made a mistake.
What careless, sorry.
So it would be if we were in a coherent country.
In a racist country all this occurs only with certain nationalities.
And skin colors

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International Day Against Torture 2015: the body is here

Stories and News No. 769

Once upon a time there was a body.
A great one, too much great.
Of different skin colors and genders.
Various age.
And at the thought of looking down in that measure makes the image disturbing.
Yet let’s look, let’s be brave.
Because that body is here.
Let’s approach eyes and heart.
And let’s read.
Let’s read the stories etched in the flesh, as tattoos fed by the worst indelible ink in the universe: the human cruelty.
There is the memory of the cuts.
And the dancing of the burns.
Down there is the show of the bruises.
And further down the gift of the lashes.
No, let’s not avert our eyes.
Let’s read together, again.
There is an echo of the beating.
And above the shadow of the blows.
Over there are the consequences of punches.
And there those of kicks.
Yes, I know, that is a filthy storytelling, but it is here.
The body is still here.
So let’s not give up.
Because we have to read more.
There is dried still too red blood.
And hematoma of the soul that is purple only on the surface, but deeply it survives regardless of the color.
There is the internal fracture, of bones and other concealed fragilities.
And there is the trauma of the after, cancer that you can hardly eradicate alone.
Without the help of those who, like it or not, allowed the abuse.
Of the body.
That is here.
That's why we have to read.
All the stories.
To write together the final word.
As the postscript.

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