Which Words Do You Wear?

Here on the information highway, I find myself thumbing for a ride.

After all, this is where people from all over this planet are telling their stories. A good place for a storyteller to observe and share. It seems to me that this computer is a bit like one of those small airplanes used for skywriting. The pilot may not exactly know who if anyone is getting the message, but it is fun to fly just the same.

It has been said that when a person has lived, that person is written into the book of life. We are sometimes remembered for something special we have done. It can be surprising that the something special may be something very ordinary and hardly considered noticeable. For example, I remember going to the polls on Election day when I was only about five years old with my mother at our neighborhood public school, good old PS 48. My mother disappeared behind a curtain telling me to sit right where I was and wait. A teacher came to sit with me and offered me a brownie. Certainly, the brownie was pretty memorable because it was the first one I ever had, but I remember how nice he was and how pleased my mother was to see that he had kept me company.

I remember the first day of school for my older sister. I was the last kid still at home and I had to figure out how to play by myself. My mother, who had lots of work to do, stopped her work and came outside to swing on the swings with me. To think, such a small gesture, yet in that moment, my mother showed me what was important in life. With just a game and a rhyme on a swing, she taught me to notice those golden afternoons with my children and grab them before they were gone.

There was a time when I was a just out of college, ready to test my wings. The very first art director that I worked for asked me to stay in her apartment for a few weeks while she worked in the London office. I grabbed the opportunity eagerly. A glamourous Manhattan apartment on East End Ave.! I envisioned this swanky place, but found instead a roach infested room about the size of a  closet. To top it off, she had a door that had some kind of defect that resulted in the door being unable to stay in the unlocked position. The key had to be something you kept with you every second, even if you just stepped out into the hall to bring in a bag. I was feeling so independent, when I heard the SLAM! After trying to contact a locksmith in the late hours of the evening and then attempting to climb up the fire escape, I finally turned to the one person I knew I could count on. My Dad. I was sure that he would lecture me when he finally got into the city, way uptown no less. Instead, he just waited with me for the locksmith to come. We laughed about it. He actually told me that he was proud of how I tried to solve the problem. That was the day he taught me how important it is to laugh and when your child gets herself into a bind, remind her that she has the ability to get herself out of it.

Yes, I truly believe that is the real irony of our lives. We all strive to make our marks and follow our dreams. Some of us become famous, but we don’t all walk on the moon. Yet, surprisingly (even for the famous folks), we usually end up in a different place than we headed out for. Even more surprisingly, it is the small stuff that really defines who we are.

So, then, who are you? If in the book of life we are merely a few words, which words define you? Perhaps, it is not in a word but in a moment that is beyond words, just a hug or a moment of understanding that we find meaning in our lives.

This blog, just for fun, asks the question: “Where are those moments?” Those ordinary, insignificant, forgettable moments that we somehow seem to remember for the rest of our lives.

As a storyteller, I celebrate the art of the spoken word. It is one of my life’s missions to preserve the essence of human communication in a world that is becoming more anonymous and homogenized. When a story is shared, person to person, people connect on many levels. Eye contact, gesture, vocal tone, movement to name a few. Even in moments of silence, the energy that is exchanged can be very powerful in the famous “pregnant pause”.  Ironically, here I am reaching out into the very world of disembodied blogs and written thoughts to continue the quest of preserving the spoken word. A story can be a picture, a song, a dance as well as a written or orally told tale.

It is here that I will share personal tales and folktales in search of those unforgettable forgettable moments. So to that big publisher in the sky, I submit my manuscript to the Book of Life.



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