Reimagining lost stories is an act of shifting power.
Why do we tell some stories for centuries and let others slip away forever?
It’s an interesting process to try and figure out what to include or let influence my story of the archeology and written historical texts making reports of Medieval happenings. If you’ve ever tried to read through the timeline of a particular historical spot it is full of facts like battles etc, but they jump a 100 years at a time and there are so many holes left in all the stories.
The reports contain the name of the one man in charge of the castle that was executed, but not his 300 companions. Their stories are lost along with the three generations of people in between the ‘historical’ happenings that were lucky enough or thought important enough to capture. Often the information comes from the few surviving texts and many of those written a hundred years or more after the events occurred. To be recalled and remembered and written down was an exceptional thing.
Imagine how exquisitely powerful and ubiquitous St Columba, his companions and followers had to be to be everywhere still! They must have been so carefully, loudly, and frequently curating their story for it to travel the way it has across time. They were empire building and definitely determined to leave a legacy to last. And it did, for several hundred years as it was, then for a thousand more in mythology.
Why are we still talking about them and not all of their contemporaries?
What purpose, and who, has it served to keep shaping and sculpting these particular stories?
Does the current narrative align with the actions, desires and plans of its subjects?
I guess my question about why have we managed to still be talking about Columba and his disciples, and why we’ve lost a lot about who St Marnoch was, goes along with the same questions about the Catholic and christian narrative.
I really do hate the idea of the lost stories. Why do we tell some stories millions of times and let others slip away into time?
The lost stories are my favourite to imagine, to reconstitute their form into the world for a minute. To me it’s a powerful practise that transfers power
I’m working on the most amazing scene for you this weekend. It’s an imagining about why so many women might be feeling the call in modern times to wild swimming in the cold waters of the Scottish coasts and all over the world. I’m so excited to share it with you.
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