Sunday, February 3, 2013

Diane Wolkstein, the passing of a great storyteller

Dear Birth Peeps,
As you know, of all the stories I love to tell pregnant women, I love the stories of Inanna best. Many of you know the story of Inanna's Descent (and all the stories of Inanna) written over four thousand years ago in Sumer. We would not know this story were it not for the archeologists who found the clay tablets on which the poems were written, and for the people who painstakingly deciphered the cuneiform--the first written language. 

Samuel Noah Kramer, a renown Sumerologist, was one of the original translators of the epic poems about Inanna. But his work was a direct and scholarly translation; the poems were not in language modern people could relate to. So, Diane Wolkstein, a famous storyteller, spent hours with Kramer, searching for "other words" she could use to re-write the epic poems so we could understand them.

Diane Wolkstein died, suddenly, just a few days ago (January 31, 2013). When the news came to me I had just finished writing the chapter, "Inanna's Descent Into Laborland," for my new book, Birth as a Hero's Journey. I had been thinking about Diane's work all day. Had she not made that beautiful translation available in her book, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth, I would not have known Inanna. I would not have the internal map of the hero's journey. My life, my births and birth stories, and my work all would be void of this most powerful influence. In fact, I cannot imagine my life without the story of Inanna.

Now the woman who loved Inanna, who brought Inanna to us, has left us. And I want to say thank you to this great storyteller who has touched all of us. Visit Diane's website to learn more about her and her work.

Pam 


5 comments:

  1. Story of Inanna is a great gift and brought great change to me and to many parents I have worked with. Thank you Diane. Thank you Pam.

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  2. Thank you for letting us know this sad news Pam. Indeed, I add my thanks for Diane's work, for bringing us the powerful stories of Inanna.

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  3. My life, too, has been fundamentally shaped by Inanna's story, brought to us by Diane- and to me by you. Feeling gratitude for Diane's life and work. Thank you for sharing this, Pam.

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