FUN FOR KIDS IN COLORADO: Magical Stories with Odds Bodkin in May

FUN FOR KIDS IN COLORADO: Magical Stories with Odds Bodkin in May

It’s Friday night, May 25th and you’re sitting in Sunrise Ranch’s auditorium with your kids. Onstage sits a Celtic harp, an African sanza and a 12-string guitar.

“What he going to do, momma?” asks your child.

“He’s going to tell stories about trees.”

“But trees don’t do anything, momma.”

“I have a feeling that in Mr. Bodkin’s stories, trees do all kinds of things. They even talk.”

“Who plays all those instruments?”

“Odds Bodkin.”

“While he’s telling stories?”

“Yep.”

COME CHILD AND SIT WITH ME BENEATH THE WISDOM TREE. A family storytelling concert. Don’t miss it.

Tickets: $15

VIKING MYTHS IN COLORADO: Odds Bodkin at Sunrise Ranch

VIKING MYTHS IN COLORADO: Odds Bodkin at Sunrise Ranch

“Modern-day Orpheus” (Billboard Magazine) Odds Bodkin will perform an adult show of Viking myths and lore Saturday May 26th at 7 pm at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado. Voices for Thor, Odin, Loki and various Frost Giants, along with symphonic 12-string guitar scores and ancient lore told with Celtic harp make this show a rare evening of hilarious and elemental entertainment. You don’t need to be a fan of storytelling to love this one-man theater experience.

Tickets are $15.

Let all your friends know!

EMPOWER YOURSELF WITH STORYTELLING THIS MAY 25-27!

EMPOWER YOURSELF WITH STORYTELLING THIS MAY 25-27!

If you’ve ever wanted to speak in front of people in a confident way, without using notes, Odds Bodkin’s upcoming storytelling weekend course in Loveland, Colorado this May is for you. As a storyteller who performs tales that can be hours long (and audiences listen!) he knows a few secrets about how to do it. Billboard Magazine calls him “a modern-day Orpheus” and his two-day course at Sunrise Ranch is fun, very entertaining and packed with real skills. Take those skills out into your life by learning the storyteller’s craft and watch your confidence soar.

And along the way, you’ll learn some fascinating lore about trees.

 

 

 

 

The Dancing Plant/No Time-Lapse Required

The Dancing Plant/No Time-Lapse Required

———

If we sped time a thousand-fold,

Then spied on silent, leafy plants

Who stand stock-still above their roots,

We’d soon grasp how wildly alive

Our green-clad cousins are. They strive

And twist for space, wiggle their shoots

And whip their leaves like flagellants.

As noons fly past, like stories told.

———

I wrote those lines for The Water Mage’s Daughter (epic poem on Amazon) many years ago, and last night, for the first time, I saw this video. For this plant, time doesn’t need to be sped up. Just play it music and it moves! A true wonder.

 

You can learn more tree lore in Loveland, CO this late May.

NUDGING THE SERPENT OF MIDGARD

NUDGING THE SERPENT OF MIDGARD

At the end of a string of failures, Thor’s last chance to prove his strength is by lifting a kitty cat’s paw. Groaning and huffing, he tries, but it barely rises before it slams back to the floor. As the Frost Giants roar with laughter, the god of thunder looks over at Loki, who has lost an eating contest earlier, and is embarrassed, too.

Little do they know they’re both victims of illusory magic, and they are competing against impossible odds, even for Aesir.

At the tale’s surprise ending, the truth emerges. Thor takes solace in his father Odin’s words, which I’ve drawn from the Viking book of etiquette, Hávamál:

When some thane would harm me
in runes on a moist tree’s root,
on his head alone shall light the ills
of the curse that he called upon mine.

Catch the beginning, middle and end of this full-length tale, plus a myth of seduction and vengeance on Sunday, April 1 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH and again on May 26, 2018 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado.

I’ll also include little-known lore while playing my Celtic harp. Lots of amusing character voices animate the tales. Hope to see you there!

PS: by the way, under the giant’s spell, Thor thought he was lifting a kitty cat. Turns out it was the Great Serpent of Midgard, the heaviest thing on earth.

THE BIRD IN THE GOLDEN CAGE: A Storytelling Experiment from Odds Bodkin’s Workshop

THE BIRD IN THE GOLDEN CAGE: A Storytelling Experiment from Odds Bodkin’s Workshop.

The experiment begins with a vivid memory: the room where you sleep at night. As a very familiar place, most people carry detailed visuals of it, even if they don’t think about it often. The bedclothes, the closet and drawers, what’s outside the window on a summer day and how that sounds. Even how the screen smells if you press your nose against it.

All this suggested visualizing among participants takes place while listening to 12-string guitar music––not a song, more like colorful splashes of emotion. Combined with the story, the result is a musico-literary doorway to imagination. Imagining begins when a small sphere of blue light appears above the bed in your room. Eventually you journey into it, imagining yourself in a bird’s body in a golden cage, then seas, caves, clear fruits in various flavors and a multitude of other opportunities to discover your Five Sensory Imaginations.

For the storyteller, these are your paints. The more you practice, the more the door to them opens into a creative state. Telling your story is simply describing that state by using those paints.

Just one cognitive experiment among many in Odds Bodkin’s weekend workshop in Colorado this coming May, The Bird in the Golden Cage doesn’t talk about using the mind’s eye, it experientially draws you into it. It’s instinctual.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to tell stories in your own voice, here’s a chance to study with a master. No music required, or experience. Just a willingness to experiment with your mind. Based on Odds Bodkin’s graduate courses and workshops conducted worldwide.

On May 26-27, 2018 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO, Odds will be offering his weekend workshop in storytelling for beginners to experienced tellers. You’ll also learn the secrets of ancient tree lore. Space is limited, so plan your weekend now!

 

 

 

An Ancient Knowing of Trees

An Ancient Knowing of Trees

As modern people who with a chain saw can fell a sequoia eight feet thick in a few minutes, it’s hard to imagine the awe ancient people felt for big trees. Especially in a climax forest that stretched in Roman times from England’s north all the way to its south, covering all except hunting trails. To this day, the famed Sherwood Forest of Robin Hood remains a small patch of that vast woodland.

It was the same everywhere across the planet, of course, wherever trees grew. Different people walked beneath different ones, but it was the same awe. So it’s no surprise that myths honoring trees are universal.

In South America, the first palm tree grew from the body of a buried maiden. In India, trees were thought of as sentient beings. Living beneath massive oaks in Britain, the Druids were named after them, while further north, Vikings believed a giant ash tree held up the universe. Everything in the Garden of Eden was edible, except for the fruit of one tree. When the Buddha attained nirvana, he was seated beneath the Bodhi Tree.

To celebrate this parade of archetypes, I’ll be telling my best stories about trees for kids and parents this coming May 25th at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado. Some tales are funny, filled with animal characters, while others run deeper. All are filled with characters, naturalistic sounds and music on 12-string guitar, Celtic harp and more.

It’s an ideal family show for any parent who wants their child to respect living things.

Check it out here and get your tickets early!

 

–Odds Bodkin

 

THE MUSE APPROACH TO STORYTELLING

THE MUSE APPROACH TO STORYTELLING

Seven years of teaching adult grad students how to tell stories at Antioch in New England showed me one thing: if they can locate their Muse, they’re golden. I’ve seen it many times. Given a few lines of story on a slip of paper––a folkloric fragment from somewhere in the middle of a tale they’ve never read––students often end up telling a 45-minute long original tale, crafting origins and endings. No kidding. It’s as if an acorn sprouted and instantly grew into an oak

It’s a glorious act to watch. How, without rehearsal and in their own words, they enter the image-rich Muse in their minds and become like jazz musicians of story, making it up as they go along.

The Muse, least Calliope, the Muse of Eloquence as the ancient Greeks thought of it, is a fusion of imagination and a certain kind of memory called “event memory.” Once you learn how to summon it, what James Joyce called “the smithy of the soul” fires up and off you go.

This coming May 25-27 I’ll be offering a full weekend workshop in storytelling in Colorado. Along with its emphasis on ancient tree lore, it provides a step-by-step process for Muse discovery.

Registration is limited to 30.

Details are here.

PERFORMANCES and a STORYTELLING WORKSHOP in COLORADO/ May 2018

Thanks to Courtney Herrera, a dynamic herbologist in Colorado, I’ll be returning to the Mountain State this May 25-27 to visit Sunrise Ranch in Loveland for two storytelling concerts and a how-to storytelling workshop. Open to the public, tickets are now on sale.

First, COME, CHILD AND SIT WITH ME BENEATH THE WISDOM TREE, a Friday evening performance for families. Kids of any age are welcome. The theme of the overall weekend is our mythic and sacral relationship with trees down through the millennia. The show starts at 7 p.m. and details and tickets are here.

On Saturday night it’s THOR AND ODIN BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, two immense Viking myths (the real deal, not Marvel) with little-known Viking lore that has fascinated the wonderful adult audiences I’ve had lately on Harvard Square. Tickets are here.

If you know anyone in Colorado who’d like to learn to tell stories (it doesn’t matter what kind) freely and creatively, then let them know about ANCIENT TREE MAGIC AND LORE: A TWO-DAY STORYTELLING WORKSHOP FOR ADULTS. I’ll be spending eight hours during Saturday and Sunday sharing this version of THE DOOR TO IMAGINATION: HOW TO AWAKEN YOUR INNER STORYTELLER, my course about discovering your Muse. Details and tickets here.

All these events I’ll fill with live music on Celtic harp, 12-string guitar and other instruments. The Muses will be at work. I’ll be playing a Celtic harp donated by Dave Kolocny of Kolocny Music in Denver. For years Dave has graciously given me a harp to use while out West.

Sunrise Ranch is a glorious spiritual retreat center with stunning physical beauty, great food and a host of caring folks.

Please let your Colorado friends know about these upcoming events!