Shall I tell you of a story? A large tapestry of stars highlighted in the night sky? The sound of wind chimes softly echoed in the background? The voice in “like Stars In A Clear night sky” to tell us their story much like this. People just don’t tell stories in this form anymore. The greatest story ever told was not written down but spoken to me. Picture a large first nations big house filled to the rafters with smoke. Picture a dimly lit fire about to go out and signify bedtime. Picture a tall thin man hazed away by the smoke telling the story about the most precious thing in the Squamish valley. Of all the novels, television shows and movies I have seen, the story I heard that night is one that stays with me.
The start of “Like Stars in a Clear Night sky” took me back to that moment. You don’t need to speak Arabic to have an appreciation of the story told to you at the beginning. As the story is being told we can see the night sky open up before us as if each star has a story to tell. You are then left with the calming sound of wind chimes and a vast tapestry of stars displayed on the screen. It is a truly serene moment. I got the feeling of laying on my back looking up at the stars and wondering about the vast expanse that is space, until I was brought back to earth and realized I was simply looking at a computer representation. That is one of the major components of oral storytelling, it becomes an almost out of body experience. I can remember back to my imagination taking hold and the smoke in the room beginning to dance to the images in my head. It is excellently mirrored here as we stare into the stars we begin to wonder about the story behind each star almost willingly forgetting the technological invasion of the computer we are on.
There are many stories in the night sky that has emerged in front of us. Most reflect on how the vastness of our world is beginning to shrink and yet is still unfathomable. The story of the world determined to become my family captures this beautifully in very few simple words. Many aspects of our world, fear, confusion, joy, show up at his door. He is quick to accept them but asks them to quiet down as “you” are still asleep. It is a great metaphor for childhood innocence and the attempts to protect the young from the ever shrinking world.
Like stars in the night sky, there are many more stories to tell. There is the story of the boy who dreamed of the world and his thoughts on eternity. There is the story of the stars who have drifted far apart and become lonely. Although these storied sadly do not have the narration like at the beginning they all echo with that voice. I would love to pass those stories onto you but I now need to tell my own stories.