Walking into the 1st rehearsal of Listen to Your Mother was like being invited to the cool kids table in high school. These were longtime bloggers and established performers – many of whom already knew one another and regularly hung out together at girlie Girls Nights Out which I have heard of, but have never participated in.
And then there was me.
I made small but awkward talk with my fellow participants as I self-consciously sat on my hands to hide nails that were bitten to the quick. I am an anxious writer and that week, I had written a lot.
These women were a clique – not mean girls by any stretch – but smart, sassy ladies who finished each others’ sentences and laughed easily at oft-told, and oft-online, jokes. I was painfully aware how different I was – my life, my opinions, heck, even my hair.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the podium, as each woman walked up to share her story. I stopped obsessing about feeling so “different”.
Instead, I felt connected.
The vague assumptions I had made about their experiences and their thoughts were replaced by the details that make up a life. As word upon word filled the room, tears streamed down my face, some from laughter, some from sorrow, all from truth.
And at the end of each one I thought, “I had no idea…”
These women came into such sharp focus that I was humbled by the vision. Call it rapture, call it enlightenment or just too much caffeine and too little sleep. I basked in the wonder of knowing that I was infinitesimally small and yet part of something so large, and so grand that I am yet to comprehend it.
That is the power of storytelling.
On Sunday, this group of talented women will take the stage. They have opened my eyes, transformed my life, and yes, made me laugh along the way.
These are more than stories about motherhood.
These are words that define who We are.
For we are more than the sum of our stories.
We are the word
PS: I love scifi with every fiber of my being. Though Babylon 5 left the airways eons ago, these words from “The Paragon of Animals” have stayed with me. Enjoy.
The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice.
The language is not Narn or Human or Centauri or Gaim or Minbari.
It speaks in the language of hope. It speaks in the language of trust.
It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion.
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always it is the same voice.
It is the voice of our ancestors speaking through us.
And the voice of our inheritors waiting to be born.
It is the small, still voice that says we are One.
No matter the blood, no matter the skin,
No matter the world, no matter the star,
We are One.
No matter the pain, no matter the darkness,
No matter the loss, no matter the fear.
We are One.
Here, gathered together in common cause
We agree to recognize this singular truth and this singular rule:
That we must be kind to one another.
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us,
And each voice lost diminishes us.
We are the voice of the universe, the soul of creation,
The fire that will light the way to a better future.
We are One.