I am surrounded by stories.
Books, yes, fables and fairies and cows and vampires and zombies and puppies and star-crossed lovers and winding country lanes and immigrant grandmothers and jockeys crashing over the finish line and pat the bunny and zorro drew his sword and there were three wise men wandering and junie b, world pioneer and yellow and blue make green and woodworking for the new century and my friend flicka and under a spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands and a quiet old lady, whispering hush.
And it's not just the books. My things tells stories, stories that I tell to my children in vain hopes they'll remember some of what I say, stories about Nana's charm bracelets and Neenaw's letter and the cabinet that my parents dragged in from a dumpster in a Chicago alley and refinished. How Mama came over the border to be here. How Gram would sing songs in the hallways in the middle of the night when it thunder stormed so her kids wouldn't be afraid and how their Papa always had treats in his pockets. How Granddad introduced you to Wallace and Grommit. How the first night we stayed here I woke up in the middle of the night and your fathers arm was over me and I thought huh. This is how it's supposed to be and went back to sleep.
People tell stories, too - not only with their words or by making sentences but by how they are. Often their actions speak louder than their words ever could. And when I see a head tilt, a flashing grin, a palm slid slowly along a countertop, I make note. I see the regret, the exultations, the sorrows, the hiding away. I see.
People are stories too.
I've been writing lately, scribbling thoughts down (pen and paper! can you believe??) about a situation, a character that won't leave me, her thoughts and background and friends and what her grandfather wore to work each day
and nothing will probably come of it. I am a master at leaving my stories gasping and half-written.
But in the meantime, I'm having fun discovering her life and what she thinks. As you would,
if you'd only stop to see some of the stories around you.