Shonaleigh’s Diary


Jul
29
Mon
2019
Walking the Wild Woods: Third Year 2019
Jul 29 @ 12:00 am – Aug 2 @ 1:00 am

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.

The course is by invitation or application ONLY.

Aug
5
Mon
2019
Walking the Wild Woods: Graduation 2019
Aug 5 – Aug 9 all-day

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.

The course is by invitation or application ONLY.

Aug
12
Mon
2019
Walking the Wild Woods: First Year 2019
Aug 12 – Aug 16 all-day

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.

The course is by invitation or application ONLY.

Aug
16
Fri
2019
Tellers, Tales and Tradition: Cloth of Hope and Sorrow, Unstone Grange, Derbyshire
Aug 16 @ 7:30 pm – Aug 18 @ 1:00 pm

This is a unique opportunity to hear an ancient tale told over the course of a weekend by storyteller and tradition bearer Shonaleigh.

About this Event

The Weekend

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

During the course of the weekend a tale will be told in stages, opening moments for discussion, questions and debate over the issues raised by these age old stories.

The Story

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.

Click below to book on the Eventbrite web site

 

Aug
26
Mon
2019
Word Dancing: Unstone Grange, Derbyshire
Aug 26 – Aug 30 all-day
Word Dancing: Unstone Grange, Derbyshire @ Unstone Grange

With growing popularity of literary festivals and spoken word events, writers are often required to TELL their work. Similarly, storytellers often want to develop their tales in a written form. But to write and to tell are two very different art forms.

As a writer, this course will show you what to adapt to be able to tell your tale.

As a storyteller, this course will show you how to adapt your oral story for the page.

This five-day course will introduce you to the Drut’syla midrash – the hereditary training of traditional Jewish women storytellers.

Shonaleigh and Simon Heywood will lead you through a range of practical exercises and creative explorations of narrative and story. We will explore ways in which the Drut’syla’s methods and approaches can be adapted practically to creative writing, storytelling and the contemporary arts. You will gain the tools to tell your story in whatever medium you choose.

This course is suitable for creatives from any discipline who use narrative or story as inspiration. It is suitable for story-lovers at any stage of their creative journey.

If you wish to book for Word Dancing (Creative Writing and Narrative Arts) then please Contact Us via email stating your name and your preferred method of contact (Email or Telephone). A member of the House of West Wind Admin Team will be in touch to discuss dates, locations, payment details and answer any questions that you may have.

Prices:

Bedroom

£355    (Fully catered) Arriving 10.00 Monday morning

£380    (Fully catered) Arriving on Sunday night

Camping

£280    (Fully catered) Arriving 10.00 Monday morning

£305    (Fully catered) Arriving on Sunday night

This is a catered course with no option for self-catering.

We will need your dietary requirements at the time of booking, in order for our caterers to plan adequately.

Book via email to booking@houseofthewestwind.uk

Sep
20
Fri
2019
Tellers, Tales and Tradition: Tobias and the Snow Tear, Bridport
Sep 20 @ 7:30 pm – Sep 22 @ 1:00 pm

More details to follow.

Sep
27
Fri
2019
Tellers, Tales and Tradition: The Cloth of Hope and Sorrow, Isle Of Anglesey
Sep 27 @ 7:30 pm – Sep 29 @ 2:00 pm

Book your space for £30 (cash donations of your choice towards Shonaleigh’s project expenses are also invited).

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

In the latest episode of Shonaleigh’s acclaimed Gem cycle we meet a Makhshef – a sorcerer and bringer of chaos. Once upon a time he had both an imprisoned woman and a whole city to torment, and all power to spread mayhem and evil was his. One day, he was tricked by his prisoner; the woman had taken the silver threads of the moon and sewed images into a blue cloth, taking everything she embroidered to a place of safety.

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… This is the story of a demon searching for his soul and for the only woman in the world who can finish stitching his image into the Cloth of Hope and Sorrow.

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 Cloth of Hope and Sorrow 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 to 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 Cloth of Hope and Sorrow 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. All 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 book your space, please visit: www.anadlu.com
Or contact Claire Mace on claire@anadlu.com or 07970 409 724
Oct
4
Fri
2019
Tellers, Tales and Tradition: The Opal Forest, Zwolle, Netherlands 2019
Oct 4 @ 7:30 pm – Oct 6 @ 7:45 pm

Shonaleigh is an internationally respected narrator and tradition keeper. She was born in the Netherlands and she grew up in England. She is a Drut’syla, a narrator in the Jewish tradition. This oral tradition of remembering and telling thousands of traditional stories has been passed through generations of Jewish women for centuries.
Tellers, Tales and Tradition is an invaluable opportunity for anyone interested in stories or in oral narrative traditions. The weekend is a revival of an almost lost narrative culture. The plan is to tell part of the cycle over the next four years when changing the seasons, so that one complete cycle has been reported over four years.

This weekend Shonaleigh tells The Opal Forest.

Of all the journeys one takes, it is the ones we fear the most that we gain from.

Nobody entering the Opal Forest emerges unscathed; they stagger into the light and for a moment it is the real world that seems as a dream. The scholar becomes a hero, the wise man is driven mad, the fool becomes a warrior without reason, and the innocent are older than they should be. The happiness of a single moment can last a lifetime; a landscape of sorrow can last beyond the grave: the key is knowing which forest to get lost in, which mountain to climb, which battle to walk away from.

Trust is important“, she said.

Can I trust you?” he replied.

Can you afford not to? This is not sad; it is a change, a letting go, from which something else may begin“, she said,

Whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace, I will offer it up as a burnt offering“.

“This thing of beauty
Held within a hand and heart
Will betray us all”.

The Opal Forest is the third tale in the Gem Cycle from the Drut’syla tradition.

Oct
11
Fri
2019
The Cloth of Hope and Sorrow: Teller, Tales, Tradition on the move at Wimbledon Park, London
Oct 11 @ 6:00 pm – Oct 13 @ 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 11th October 2019

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

Saturday 12th October 2019

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 13th October 2019

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
18
Fri
2019
Tellers, Tales and Tradition: The Cloth of Hope and Sorrow, Cardiff
Oct 18 @ 7:30 pm – Oct 20 @ 1:00 pm

More details to follow.