Saturday, July 3, 2010

So the Story Goes...

It is all about the footprints...the fingerprints...the writing on the mirror that has been fogged gray by steam from a cathartic bath. And everyone has a story. Everyone has at least one story that will stop your heart. Everyone has the potential to teach us something. It is all about listening to those stories. How else do we discover our collective humanity? ... All we are is our stories.
~Matthew Grandstaff

Matt's words struck me yesterday. Of course, the poet in me loved the whole steamed mirror / cathartic bath analogy. More than that though, was the truth that rang in what he said. So much of who I am today comes from the stories I heard at the feet of my elders. I was the kid in the family that didn't have a cousin who matched in age that I could run around with. So, at family reunions I preferred to hang around with the "old folks." I think I loved a good story anyway, but sitting with them taught me something more. It taught me that in telling a story, we give away a piece of ourselves for all time. We leave that bit behind. It's so true. Those "old folks" are long gone now, every one of them, but I still remember their stories. I still keep the lessons I learned from them. I still lean on the humor and pathos that were stirred in me all those years ago.

Everyone's got a story. Everyone has a different way of telling the story. You can learn another's story simply by observing them. We tell the story of ourselves even when we don't know we do. How often have I made some comment about another person, only to have them react in surprised and say, "How did you know that about me?!" I watch. I listen. I discern.

This weekend not a few of us will be at parties, reunions, sitting around a bonfire, etc. While you're there, listen to the stories. I mean, really listen. And tell your story - at least some of it. Me, I listen to anything that starts with, "I remember when..." Nostalgia is a great launching point. Take the advice from me and my friend Matt, leave footprints and fingerprints in each other's lives. When all is said and done, it's really all we have of each other. All we are is our stories.

I was looking back at my posting record for the past year or so. This month I'm dedicating myself to posting on this blog every day. I want my story told.


  1. o boy, every day to enrich my mind... and soul! and laugh
    much needed this month!
    lv igs

  2. It'll be a challenge for me! Topic ideas are welcome!!!

    If I do all 31 days, will you come and have lunch with me????? ;-p


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