Shonaleigh’s Diary


Sep
21
Fri
2018
The Sapphire Staff: A Weekend Telling in Wales
Sep 21 @ 6:00 pm – Sep 23 @ 2:00 pm
The Sapphire Staff: A Weekend Telling in Wales @ The Old Rectory

You are invited to a unique, immersive weekend of storytelling for adults from the world-renowned tradition bearer and storyteller Shonaleigh.

In the latest episode of Shonaleigh’s acclaimed Gem cycle, an ancient warlord is looking for three objects that will give him possession of all the kingdoms of the world.

This is a rare chance to hear these ancient tales in the light and on the tongue, stories untold for two generations and barely spoken of for decades.

The story starts out at the beginning of time. It traces the path of the three gifts given to mankind after the Fall from Eden: a cloak made of serpent skin, a staff of sapphire that looks like wood, and a rather unusual book.

We follow the journeys these objects take, and find their stories merge with stories from the Tanakh (the Old Testament). We meet Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Judah, and Joseph. On the way the objects become lost, misappropriated, their use distorted and their true value almost forgotten.

Only two can thwart the warlord’s quest: a young man whose Grandfather was cursed to be half-eagle half-man, and a young woman who holds the last secret of Eve’s three beautiful daughters.

Shonaleigh is a Druts’yla, and carries on a living unbroken oral tradition passed down from grandmother to granddaughter by generations of Jewish women. Shonaleigh knows around 4,000 tales that she can recall on request, using the lost art of ‘stories within stories’.

This telling of The Sapphire Staff will be recorded, as part of the Last Drut’syla Project, to create an archive of this tradition’s stories.

This is an unmissable opportunity for anyone interested in stories or in oral and lost cultures to come and help document and archive this tradition through listening, requesting stories and asking questions. There will only be 20 places, so booking is essential.

The telling of The Sapphire Staff will start at 7.30pm on Friday evening (arrive from 6pm for a bite to eat first). Saturday’s session will run approximately 10am – 9pm. Sunday will run approximately 10am – 2pm. It will take place within a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of cushions and sofas and cups of tea.

There is a charge of £30 to attend, to cover the cost of the room and basic lunches and dinners. You are also welcome to make a donation to Shonaleigh and Simon’s travel and project expenses, and to bring cakes, biscuits and snacks to share (gluten and dairy free if possible). To reserve your space, get in contact.

If you’re coming from far away, there are a few very basic bunkbeds available in the house (£10 a night including breakfast) and the garden is open for camping (£5 a night including breakfast), please get in contact to discuss and book early.

These places to stay are are also pretty local and do B&B, contact them direct to book rooms:
http://penyrorseddfarm.com/
http://www.hollandhotel.co.uk/

Sep
24
Mon
2018
Milton Keynes Literature Festival – The Golem
Sep 24 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Milton Keynes Literature Festival - The Golem @ Holiday Inn

MK Lit Fest is back! Whether you come just to listen, or to participate in our workshop events, our second festival promises a cornucopia of words in all their glory – novels, short stories, poems, spoken word, songs and more.

In the time of the Emperor Rudolf II, the Jewish community of Prague suffered great persecution. The Emperor could not, or would not, protect the community. So the Maharal made a Golem, a man-made man, from the clay of the Vltava river, to protect the community in times of trouble: a Golem who had the unutterable Name of the Most High on a parchment placed upon his tongue – giving him just life enough to obey his human creator, but no other sense of right or wrong.

Each night Rabbi Loew removed the Name of the Most High from the Golem’s tongue, and he slept.

But one night – so some stories say – Rabbi Loew forgot to remove the Name …

To book tickets or find out more Click Here to visit the MK LitFest web site.

Sep
25
Tue
2018
Teaching, Derby University
Sep 25 all-day

Teaching at Derby University.

Associate Lecturer in the Creative Writing Department.

Teaching ‘Ancient Forms’ Module.

Oct
26
Fri
2018
The Cloth of Hope and Sorrow: Teller, Tales, Tradition on the move at Wimbledon Park, London
Oct 26 @ 6:00 pm – Oct 28 @ 2:00 pm
The Cloth of Hope and Sorrow: Teller, Tales, Tradition on the move at Wimbledon Park, London @ Casa Templo Setting

Join us for a weekend-long story told by a living tradition bearer, Drut’syla Shonaleigh Cumbers, part of a series of extended storytelling sessions taking place in 2018.

In a remote castle a Makhshef – a sorcerer and bringer of chaos – lived alone. But it had not always been so; once upon a time he had an imprisoned girl and a city to torment and all power and mayhem and evil was his. And then one day, he was tricked. The woman had taken the silver threads of the moon and sewed images into a blue cloth, taking everything embroidered to a place of safety. One by one, all who he threatened disappeared until finally she had embroidered herself into the cloth and he was all alone. In a rage, the Makhshef took the cloth and would have destroyed it had his eye not caught the half-finished likeness of himself, glinting in the moonlight. He could not destroy the cloth without destroying himself. So he remained alone, with nothing to do and nothing to torment.
One chill night he came upon a dove, frozen and still at the edge of the road. Out of curiosity and boredom, the Makshef picked it up, curious, and took it back to his empty palace.
“I am the Dove of Heaven,” said the bird. “You have saved me. What can I give you in return?”
The Makhshef felt something strange – his face was wet.
“What is this?” he asked.
“Tears,” replied the Dove.
“I want a soul,” whispered the Makhshef.
“You can only have a soul if you wander – 7 years in each direction. And you must find a woman who can stitch the cloth.”
This is the story of a demon is search for a soul and for only woman in the world who can finish stitching his image into the Cloth of Hope and Sorrow.

The Cloth of Hope and Sorrow is one of five stories in The Gem Cycle. The Gem Cycle is one of twelve epic cycles of stories which have been passed down by generations of Jewish women from Grandmother to Grandaughter in the Drut’syla tradition. Join us on the journey through this exquisitely detailed story landscape brought to life in the moment by unique tradition-bearer, Shonaleigh Cumbers who was taught by her Bubbe (grandmother).

Starting at one point in the lattice, we the listeners, will guide the journey through the interlinked tales, hearing stories possibly left untold for two generations.

We will also take time to discuss both the tradition and the issues raised by the stories and explore how the wisdom of these stories can help us navigate life in the 21st Century, and build stronger communities, whatever our location, situation, and whatever our faith or belief system.

The tellings will take place within a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of cushions and chairs. A range of snacks (including gluten and dairy free ones), tea, coffee and soft drinks will be available throughout the event, included in the admission price. BYOB. You are welcome to bring quiet crafts (that will not disturb others) such as knitting, crochet, embroidery etc.

Programme

Friday 26 October 2018

Doors open from 6:00 pm
Telling starts at 7:30 pm
Telling ends around 10:00 or 10:30 pm

Saturday 27 October 2018

Doors open at 9:00 am – morning tea, coffee and snacks available
Telling restarts at 10:00 am interspersed with coffee, lunch, and tea breaks
Telling ends around 5:30 pm

Doors open to larger group at 6:30 pm
Telling restarts at 7:30 pm
Telling ends at 10:00 or 10:30 pm

Sunday 28 October 2018

Doors open at 9:00 am – morning tea, coffee and snacks available
Telling restarts at 10:00 am, interspersed with coffee break, going through to lunchtime.

A range of snacks (including gluten and dairy free ones), tea, coffee and soft drinks will be available throughout the event, included in the admission price. BYOB.

Numbers are limited to 16 so we urge you to book soon if you would like to join us.

Stories within stories

In the Drut’syla tradition, around 4,000 tales are held within the mind and recalled on request, in a networked lattice of ‘stories within stories’. This weekend is an opportunity to gain an insight into how a culture thrived before the written word became common practice.

Questions

Told over centuries these stories have a timeless, universal resonance for all of us, men and women, young and old, survivors and seekers. The group will interact with the story in the way it was originally intended, with listeners encouraged to ask questions directly about the stories and the environment in which they were told. We may find hidden trade routes locked within the tales, discuss the reasons why a person might forego a story in order to hear one of greater importance to the community or be prompted to engage in philosophical discussions by issues raised within the stories.

The Last Drut’syla?

Shonaleigh is the only known Drut’syla having learnt the stories from her Bubbe (grandmother) and the weekend will be a thoroughly unusual revival of a culture almost lost. This is an unmissable opportunity for anyone interested in stories or in oral and lost cultures to come and help document and archive through listening, requesting stories and asking questions.

What is a Casa Templo?

The Casa Templo concept is a simple concept which started in South America. It defines a domestic space in which people gather to celebrate life as a community. LifeLore Casa Templo events are inspired by this model, and are hosted in the light of three universal principles: goodness, truth, and harmony which the people present balance in their own ways to guide the quality of their individual and collective actions throughout the event.

Oct
30
Tue
2018
Teaching, Derby University
Oct 30 all-day

Teaching at Derby University.

Associate Lecturer in the Creative Writing Department.

Teaching ‘Ancient Forms’ Module.

Nov
2
Fri
2018
Tellers, Tales and Tradition in Totnes – The Sapphire Staff
Nov 2 @ 5:30 pm – Nov 4 @ 2:00 pm
Tellers, Tales and Tradition in Totnes - The Sapphire Staff @ Green Dragon Barn

An Invitation from the Red Alachigh

An ancient warlord is looking for three objects that will give him possession of all the kingdoms of the world.

  • The Sapphire Staff given to Adam at the beginning of the world, that can make the waters of the world part;
  • The Snakeskin Cloak that smells of the Apples of the Garden of Eden;
  • The Book Of All Things which contains the song of the sun and the thoughts of the rain.

Only two people can stop him … a young man who’s Grandfather was cursed to be half eagle half man … and a young woman who holds the last secret of Eve’s three beautiful daughters!

Programme

Friday 2 November 2018

5.30pm : Arrival and welcome
6.00pm : Breaking bread and eating supper together
7.30pm : Telling of the Sapphire Staff begins
10.30pm : Telling ends (latest)

Saturday 3 November 2018

9.00am : Arrival – morning tea, coffee and snacks available
10.00am : Telling restarts interspersed with coffee, lunch & tea breaks
5.30pm : Telling ends
5.45 : Supper together
6.45 : Doors open to larger group
7.30pm : Telling restarts
10.30pm : Telling ends (latest)

Sunday 4 November 2018

9.00am : Arrival – morning tea, coffee and snacks available
10.00am : Telling restarts interspersed with coffee and tea breaks
12 midday : Lunch together
2pm : Weekend ends

Some of the deepest conversations happen over the meals….

Stories within stories

In the Drut’syla tradition, around 4,000 tales are held within the mind and recalled on request, in a networked lattice of ‘stories within stories’. This weekend is an opportunity to gain an insight into how a culture thrived before the written word became common practice.

Questions

Told over centuries these stories have a timeless, universal resonance for all of us, men and women, young and old, survivors and seekers. The group will interact with the story in the way it was originally intended, with listeners encouraged to ask questions directly about the stories and the environment in which they were told. We may find hidden trade routes locked within the tales, discuss the reasons why a person might forego a story in order to hear one of greater importance to the community or be prompted to engage in philosophical discussions by issues raised within the stories.

The Last Drut’syla?

Shonaleigh is the only known Drut’syla, having learnt the stories from her Bubbe (grandmother) and the weekend will be a thoroughly unusual revival of a culture almost lost. This is an unmissable opportunity for anyone interested in stories or in oral and lost cultures to come and help document and archive through listening, requesting stories and asking questions.

Parking for 10 cars, please lift-share. Lunch & Supper provided (dietary requirements catered for, please specify when booking) tea, coffee and snacks provided.
Find your own accommodation for the Friday and Saturday night:-

B & B and Airbnb accommodation:

Toad Hall  (100 yards)

Washwalk – Sue & John Hadow 01548 521204 (half a mile)

There are plenty of other B & Bs within a one to two mile drive – Google: Halwell, Blackawton, Moreleigh and Bickleigh Farm.

Nov
6
Tue
2018
Teaching, Derby University
Nov 6 all-day

Teaching at Derby University.

Associate Lecturer in the Creative Writing Department.

Teaching ‘Ancient Forms’ Module.

Nov
13
Tue
2018
Teaching, Derby University
Nov 13 all-day

Teaching at Derby University.

Associate Lecturer in the Creative Writing Department.

Teaching ‘Ancient Forms’ Module.

Nov
19
Mon
2018
Walking the Wildwoods Year 2
Nov 19 – Nov 24 all-day
Walking the Wildwoods Year 2 @ Emerson College
Wildwoods is a three year part time course with four one week residential courses, which will introduce you to a new way of thinking about stories and your approach to them. We will walk with the Druts’yla tradition, identify key points of the midrash and learn how stories are held, unpeeled, understood and internalised on a practical and holistic level.

** ALL PLACES FOR 2018 HAVE NOW BEEN ALLOCATED. APPLICATIONS FOR 2019 OPEN IN SEPTEMBER. TO BE ADDED TO THE 2019 WAITING LIST EMAIL YOUR APPLICATION TO INFO@SHONALEIGH.UK **

Year Two

Finding the Ordinary In The Extraordinary
Bark and Branch
Vocal technique
Moving from the cerebral landscape  to the physical and the bridges in between
Methods of approaching story and research techniques
Walking the story and passing it on
Remembering to think outside the box
Application of Language in different work related environments
Step two of the Midrash

In addition there are regular quests and tasks to be completed throughout the year and which form an intrinsic part of the training.
The course is by invitation or application ONLY.

Shonaleigh is happy to discuss your application if you have questions or would like further details before applying. Click Here to contact Shonaleigh.

You need to have a regular creative practice and are advised to take a course with Shonaleigh before applying. Creative Writing and Narrative Arts is particularly recommended.

Nov
27
Tue
2018
Teaching, Derby University
Nov 27 all-day

Teaching at Derby University.

Associate Lecturer in the Creative Writing Department.

Teaching ‘Ancient Forms’ Module.