Thursday, May 11, 2006

Outback with an Ipod

David is a friend of my son’s. They went to High School together, did the “Great European Tour” right after graduation and have remained friends ever since, even though my son is married with three kids and David has remained single, they still enjoy each other’s company whenever they can get together.
Last summer, David took a trip to Australia. He did some surfing near Sidney at Bondi and Bronte and after a week of beer, sun and “The Nude Surfing Festival”, he headed
For the Blue and Snowy Mountains and the Outback.

Eventually he had a chance to spend some time with an Aborigine tribe and learn a little about their lives and customs and listen to their stories. Storytelling is as old as the Aborigine culture itself dating back more than forty thousand years. David had the privlege of listening to Aboriginal storytellers, who, by their words and actions bring the
Listener into the story, that is, they listen and visualize the story and become a part of the
Process of storytelling. These gifted people have a charisma that captivates their audience
With their words and actions and their facial expressions. This has been the true essence of storytelling in every culture.

David made friends with one of the Storytellers he met in the Outback, his name was Jimmie Taylor and he was a “Keeper of the Stories” and very proficient at his vocation. After participating in a few of Jimmie’s sessions, David told Jimmie how much he had enjoyed the stories and asked if Jimmie would be willing to record a few into David’s iPod. Jimmie was reluctant at first but gradually he understood how much this meant to David so he eventually agreed. David took the iPod from around his neck and gave it Jimmie after explaining how to operate it.
Jimmie took it and went back to his hut.

The next evening, Jimmie went to the place where David was staying and when he saw David he took the iPod from his neck and handed it to David and said “I’m sorry David but I couldn’t tell your machine any stories. I know how it works; I sang a song into it and it played back the words of my song but it didn’t understand the song and it wasn’t my voice that I heard. It could record things but it couldn’t see me and the way I moved my hands when I told about the flying birds or the kangaroo jumping on the anthill. It didn’t understand what I meant and it couldn’t tell me with its eyes that it understood or even liked my story. It couldn’t tell me when to slow down or explain something. It couldn’t laugh or sing or cry at my stories. I can’t tell stories to this iPod."

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