It was a night…it was a very good night. Nestled in a cordwood house in the woods of central Maine we sang, we listened, we told stories that brought us to tears of both profound emotion and laughter.
Storytelling is an art form that has all but disappeared from our culture in the manner it was shared in antiquity. These days, our stories are broadcast on screen and television far more than they are shared in circle. This is the Gorsedd, a meeting of Bards to share songs, stories and poetry. This was the first “event” of the Order of Maine Druidry and divine forces were certainly present for our journey through the gathering darkness.
We held a short meeting beforehand to share news and discuss ideas. One idea that was discussed was that of an Eistedfodd. They still hold Eistedfodau in Wales and many other places in the world on a semi-regular basis and it is a tradition we wish to bring to the Order and to Maine. We wish to foster this event and hopefully draw storytellers from all walks of life, all different traditions.
Our Gorsedd (which is a bit simpler than an Eistedfodd) began with a short ritual outside to recognize the gods of winter, the spirits of place, the land, the ancestors and to set our intentions for the evening. We then adjourned inside for some storytelling while a mead horn was passed and we all shared with one another things we have been working on, older stories, poems and memories. It was a night to be cherished and I cannot think of a single person who is not looking forward to the next one.
In that vein, we are planning to set a date for our Eistedfodd a bit further out than was originally planned and instead sponsor a series of Gorseddau over the next several months, something that will be more public and open to as many people as possible. We will announce the date of the Eistedfodd one year and one day prior to the date it will be held allowing people from all walks of life to plan and prepare for the event. This plan is currently under discussion within the Order and may change depending on a variety of factors. Rest assured though, we are all very excited to be planning and coordinating such an epic and wonderful event!