Monday, March 06, 2006

After watching the Academy Awards tonight, I reflected a little on a theme that came up several times throughout the evening's proceedings.

We are creatures who thrive on stories.

From the small child who just wants someone, anyone, to tell them a story, whether they've heard it or not, to the elderly person whose life seems to continue its flow by the fuel of sharing his or her own stories; we all seek to connect somehow through the creative and re-creative imagination. It is not enough to see a person, or to tell them of the dreary facts of everyday. Throughout a person's life, one hears thousands of stories, parables, fables, narratives, biographies, even nursery rhymes, that allow us to for a moment become bigger than ourselves, to touch somethingI say this at riskuniversal.

When I come to stories, whether I am writing them or reading them, I find myself seeking those characters to whom I can connect.

These nonexistent beings of the imagination take on a living quality when I encounter them; they bring me to discover those parts of myself from which my commonalities with men and women throughout history spring, the parts that I yearn to magnify as I seek to identify my place and purpose in life.

In a different way, very special members of the gallery of story-lives bring to the surface those other parts of myself with which I am less acquainted; the dark secrets, forlorn longings, burning hope and desire, wild resilience, the most powerful of emotions. All of these discoveries seem to generate a new color in my life's tapestry; in fact, in truth they are actually generating a new color in the general tapestry of God's painting, which raises a thought:

We, as finite beings, will not, in this life, see or hear the entirety of the greatest motion picture in existence; we're not made to. But when we can connect to those parts of stories that truly bring out the nature of the thingthe parts that we play, the direction of the script we get a glimpse of what all the fuss is about in the recognition of any story, on any level. There's no word for it, not in human language. There's no color with which to paint it. But I think we all know of what I write. I think, if we look for it carefully enough, we will find that it is written on the back of our hearts, in the stories we live and breathe, celebrate and seek each day.

All the world's a stage

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