I've often reflected on the fact that I am not a person who has the ability to write every day, but if I did I would try to write down all the stories I encounter every day. Just yesterday I encountered several stories, or glimpses of stories. All are fascinating.
I remember years ago in one of my Drama classes at UGA, a professor talking about how human beings rely on stories for entertainment. Sitting around the fire, our primitive ancestors told stories like "Yeah, wow, that bear almost ate me but I got away." He jumps up and acts out the chase. You get the picture.
I encountered a lady yesterday that I know casually, and we had a discussion that started off casually and then somehow led to her teen years, and the abuse she suffered from a family member. I was riveted and horrified, and saddened. It made me remember an oft-heard phrase from my mom, "Everyone's got a sack of rocks." In other words, all human beings have painful pasts. Nobody has an idyllic life.
The lady I was speaking to went on to triumph over her painful childhood and became a successful person. Years after her nightmare, she took in two troubled teens and fostered them, despite being a struggling single mom herself. I so admire folks like that. They don't fold under adversity. They quietly hold the world together.
Sometimes I see hint of fascinating stories I will never know.
I was going home and there's a stretch of road where I always have to just sit for a while, as the cars back up where the road narrows to two lanes before you get to the interstate.
I was not paying much attention to anything, when I spotted a flash of red off to my right. I peered around cars and finally saw an old lady walking down the sidewalk. There are a lot of expensive old homes around there. This lady had on a full-length red coat, black slacks, black flat shoes, and a black scarf. Her face was ghostly white but for her bright red lipstick. Her hair was an improbably shade of blonde, and it had been curled and "set" in what hairstylists call a "classic" style. She looked MAD. This was not a person walking for fitness, y'all. She looked like she had a LOT of money, too. OLD money.
I watched her march down the sidewalk, and stop at the driveway of an old house, partially obscured and back from the road. She looked like she wanted to march up to the house and punch someone in the face.
I kinda wished I had the ability to go talk to her, just to see what was up.
I had to run some errands, and when I got home, there was a lovely vase of flowers waiting outside the house. It was to Mother, for her birthday. The delivery guy probably rang the bell but it's hard for Mother to get to the door quickly from her room in the back of the house.
The flowers were from one of my cousins. He lost his mother a couple of years ago. I’m sure he was missing her over the holidays. I sent him a link to my post about Mother the other day, just because I thought he’d get a kick out of seeing the old photos. He responded with flowers to her.
He would tell you he doesn’t believe in God, but the flowers were a nice pick-me-up for Mother after a difficult day, with her legs paining her.
We are all agents for God, at times, whether we know it or not.
Sometimes, just reading a blog helps me to feel less alone in the world, less freaky and weird.Stories are behind all of us, behind everything we do. They are everywhere. Sometimes they hurt, sometimes they heal. Regardless, they fascinate me.