A warm welcome to my storytelling blog

Thank you for looking at my blog.
Stories can please, thrill, delight, enchant, challenge, distract, tease, disappoint, anger, charm, patronize, disgust, beguile......
But I personaly believe thay can do no harm.
I would be delighted if you were to leave feed back.

11 Dec 2009

Hospital Storytelling Clubs

I'm late writing this up. The reason I think is because I had to spend some time thinking about the two very different experiences I had last Thursday at the two different clubs. I was poorly prepared for the Women's ward. That didn't feel too good. Never-the less I moved the Norse Mythology forward, covering 'The Song of Rig' and 'The Mead of Poetry' which was quite a lot for one session. I am constantly surprise how much the patients engage with the stories and seem to enjoy the more gritty, bawdy parts of the Norse Myths. It was evident that the three patients that attended were actively listening. They all agreed that it would be an idea to find a way of inviting Kvasir on to the ward, they believed he would be a good nurse! We played a game at the end with rhythm, stamping feet and passing a ball around the circle without breaking the rhythm. It didn't quite work but it provided a lot of hilarity and laughter. We talked a bit about what rhythm has to do with stories.

I then went to the Male ward, for which I felt well prepared. I have decided to embark on the Epic 'The King of Ireland Son' by Padraic Colum. I love that story and know it well. I have told parts of it quite a few times and do not believe I will ever tire of it.
But the mood on the ward was very lack luster. The police had been on the ward that day to interview patients about an assault and most of the patients decided not to attend. There were only two. The two that attended were keen, but I could not help feel a little disappointed that more did not attend, even though I say I only need one person to listen. A big difficulty in that session was that a support worker came into the session, which in principle is good, but not if they constantly look at their watch and huff and puff.....very distracting. The patients seemed to listen well, but the support worker was NOT going to get into it. Never mind.

In my roll as a nurse in the hospital I have moved wards. the new ward has only got four patients at the moment. I have told them two stories, in the evenings. Just a couple of simple stories for the un-initiated story listener. But quite a reaction from two of them to the first story I told ('When the Fox and the Squirrel where Friend' Form Daniel Mordens 'Dark Tails from the Woods'). Both of them said they were 'freaked out' they said this in a jokey sort of a way, but talked about the stories quite often after that. Asking questions. Both patients have a history of taking drugs, especially psychedelic drugs. Just wondering if storytelling might tap into some memory of hallucinations from a drug trip? Both patient did listen to the second story I told and listened in an uninterested, macho way!

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