I love to write, to reflect, and process the life I don’t deserve by just stabbing at it – throwing words up like those creepy, plastic, stretchy cereal toys to see if they stick to the wall and start to migrate. Reality sets in between the exuberant moment when the spider-like creature sticks at the top of the course and its floppy landing on the floor. How apropos.
Some awfully nifty women here in northwest Arkansas have begun producing a fantastic little show (it’s not little) called Listen To Your Mother. This is the second year in our neck of the woods, and I finally submitted an essay (meaning, I knew about it but didn’t do anything last year). I’m so happy that opportunities like this have started to reach communities of our size, providing an outlet for storytellers to throw their tales up against the wall to see if they stick. I care a lot about cultivating stories and providing an outlet for storytelling. In fact, it’s why I’m (most fortunate to be) aligned with organizations such as Arkansas Women Bloggers and the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas.
Last weekend, I was able to go for an audition or callback of sorts to read my essay about our nine year old, Sophie, to be considered for the cast of Listen To Your Mother Northwest Arkansas. Sophie begged to go with me. I consulted with Fred, and he concurred that it was exactly the kind of life experience she needed. I realized that while it would be a delightful and exciting journey to even participate, I cared a lot less about whether my little tale made the show, and a lot more about having that moment with Soph.
We walked in for the reading, and she wriggled with excitement. We greeted the judges (all of whom I’m fortunate to cross paths with regularly in my real life), and she could hardly stand it. She planted herself in a cushy, corporate chair and immediately commenced some pre-teen swinging to and fro. I pulled out the essay and began reading aloud. These women, whom I respect and admire a great deal, listened intently. And yet, I was transfixed by the nine year old spinning back and forth on that cushy chair. She’d read the whole thing before and lived the story, and yet she giggled the whole way through.
She asked me later about the details of the people acting out my story if I were to be selected. I realized that, in essence, she wanted to know who would play her in the movie of her life.
Here’s the bit that may be difficult to convey: I love that she is living a very basic life that she still thinks might be legendary enough to be chronicled. I’m willing (pining, really) to chronicle it for her, and I’m definitely guilty of prancing through my own life and considering it epic at every moment. It’s an abomination, a drastic exaggeration, of the idea that life is in the details. Because it is.
By ordinary standards, I’m pretty sure her life and mine – they’re not particularly epic. However, while she may be 90% made of my husband’s far more desirable characteristics, I’m eminently thankful that she does have my inate belief that life is good. Life is beautiful. La vie, c’est belle. It’s worth chronicling in all its everyday, basic, simplistic, epic glory.