“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.”
― Eudora Welty
We carry our stories in different ways. I saw an old woman in the city yesterday. With her one remaining arm, she wheeled her shopping cart full of dolls down the street speaking to each of them by name..Listening to her for awhile, I realized that each one was a child of hers that had passed from some kind of terrible accident.
A teenage boy walked by. In his sagger and his ongoing dialogue, I could hear the anger that he felt at his parents and his world and his desperate need for someone to pay attention.
Two old men sitting at a chess table, revealed in each move the lives they lived. A woman in business dress looking at her watch and pausing as her eyes glanced at her empty finger where a ring used to fit told stories of an icy practicality that love could not melt. Each person wore their stories, actors caught up in the roles that they played. Except for one man. In his eyes I saw a story of hard won wisdom and a transmission of pure love. I hope some day to also be that story of transcendence.
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