My 13 year-old still likes me to tell her stories at night. Trust me, after the first few years of doing this I ran out of ideas–and yet–somehow they still come. Often they involve animals or mermaids (since I AM one), but ALWAYS they have a message. This is NOT intentional on my part. It just happens.
Recently my kids informed me that I ALWAYS have a message when I relate a conversation or tell a story. Apparently, they would be happier WITHOUT one. Unfortunately, it seems that asking me to share anything without a message is like telling me to shave my head, then go buy a hairbrush. It just doesn’t make sense. It seems my brain was pre-wired to search for meaning in all things no matter how mundane.
Maybe, even, it was Grandmother’s admonition that, “Everything happens for a reason.* For example, when the volume quit some months back on our new TV set, I did put new batteries in the remote & fiddled with the knobs a few times. It also occurred to me to call Best Buy & get someone out to fix it as it is still likely covered by the warranty. However, I really didn’t feel like listening to “the options,” pressing the appropriate numbers, being caller #26 and sitting on hold. So, I never dialed the number. For the first couple of days I watched the weather channel a few times with no sound. That seemed kind of silly so I simply stopped turning the TV on at all. If I wanted to know the weather, I just opened the door and went outside.
Despite my lack of connection with the world, however, I am aware that a volcano has erupted and spread ash over much of Europe, curtailing air traffic. I am also aware that Tiger Woods is playing golf again. Come to think of it, there is a rather funny connection between those two events, but I shall not relate that here. It might give this message meaning and I can’t have that tonight.
I have a bedtime story to tell. It will begin with, “Once upon a time, there was the most beautiful, little girl, perfect in every way except one: she had no hair. Her parents had hair. Her friends had hair. Why, even her little dog had hair. She did, however, have one, treasured possession; the most exquisite, ebony hairbrush with the figure of a long-haired mermaid carved in the handle. . .(* Excerpt from, “Kissing Tomatoes,” http://www.helen-hudson.com)