Last night, I was doing World War II homework with my 17 year old.
Now, this was not necessarily my plan.
I mean…did I say, in March 2015 what I really want to do is review the facts and story of World War II?
And yet, within 30 seconds of starting to help her with her homework, we were having a great discussion about the Cold War, John F. Kennedy, communism, terrible prejudice, why the word “God” was put in the pledge of allegiance.
I played her the song Harry Truman by Chicago, instantly found on youtube.
Isn’t it strange how we love stories?
This happened, then that happened, then this other thing happened, then she did this, then he said that, then they were upset, then he got mad, then she was depressed, then someone died, and someone was born, then they left.
The story of humanity, living itself.
“We shouldn’t have so many stories”.
Especially the ones that get people all fired up and upset.
Is that really true?
What if it were OK to have stories, just not believe in them so radically?
Stories are profound, and beautiful, and agonizing. They can be so brilliant, and so inspiring.
But when they hurt and feel painful….awful.
Thank goodness for inquiry.
What if you could look at your own personal stories the same way you see a movie, or a story from history, playing itself out?
One day, when I was deeply pained by a story about heart-ache, sickness and death, it occurred to me (I didn’t invent this, it was an exercise offered to me) that this story about dying and tragedy was playing on a screen in my mind, and I could step to the side of the theater, and look at the thin width of the screen, hearing only the sound, seeing only shadows dancing on audience faces, no longer immersed in the story.
I could be free not to believe, not to know.
Not to repeat it over and over, not to try to smash it down or push it away, not to be so desperately moved by my opinion of what was happening in the story.
What if what you’re thinking might pass? What if it changes next week, next year? What about a decade from now?
What about from WWII, and all the remarkable change that’s occurred?
“Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.” ~ Joss Whedon
All I know is, questioning repetitive, serious, difficult stories by looking, investigating, exploring who the characters are, what you’re doing, what’s happening with thought, what’s being felt, seeing what’s true and what’s not….
….allows the humor to come forth, the acceptance.
Who would you be, right now today, without your difficult, tragic or victim story?
Noticing that difficulty and pain happen, then relief, then creativity, then ingenious magic.
All the world’s a stage, and how beautiful to not know how the story goes, why it goes, where it goes. Not really.
Kinda fun, right?