Shandon Loring has travelled through many times and places and worlds, both virtual and real, and has recently come to the Second Life metaverse. He has collected many stories and tales and books, and would like to share his love of a good story with you, and to be your Seanchai for a time.
The Irish are notorious the world over for being blessed by God with what is known as "The Gift of the Gab". Many a time this gift has talked an endangered Irishman out of trouble, but - on recollection - it has probably talked even more into it!
Perhaps the most charming and traditional way to pass a few hours on a cold winters night (and God only knows Ireland has seen many of those) is to sit down in front of an "ole turf fire" and enjoy the company of a Seanchai, otherwise known simply as a storyteller. (For those who are interested "Seanchai" is pronounced "Shana-key").
Every culture has their own version of a Seanchai, a person who recalls and shares, the quaint events of the country. These events may be true, they may be imagined, they may be drawn from some dusty near-forgotten tome, or in many cases they may simply be made up on the spot. Regardless it is a treat like no other to listen to the stories which have been passed down from generation to generation over the centuries.
It is important to point out - the Seanchai's job is much more than for purely entertainment purposes. The Seanchai is the custodian of stories and traditions which were inherited many hundreds of years ago. Often the culture and heritage of so long ago is in stark contrast to our values and thoughts of today, and so ever the more in need of preservation.
The Seanchai possesses the skill to ignore the inhibitions of modern day stifled conversations and instead focuses their attention on presenting those of us with keen ears - with the stories of the past, sometimes the present and, perhaps, even of what's to come.
The infectious tones that we hear from their lips allow us to momentarily slip away from the modern day and very real world and conjure up images of the rich and yet simplistic life lead by our ancestors, allowing us to escape from the hustle and bustle of the post-modern world and into the world of traditional Ireland.