The ourobouros bites its tail. There is venom in its fangs and the antidote for the poison in its tail. Our stories go out into the world, sometimes as dragonflies sailing out and into a toxic swamp. It is easy to despair. Then a reader writes and with his or her words, poison is transmuted into healing. From my friend, Tom Bailey a story about one of the stories in The Talker:
Got the new book and am savoring my way through it. Had a rather amazing experience with it yesterday. Back story: Saturday evening, Heidi and I had our friend Jenny Eis over for dinner. Jenny’s husband “walked on” as we say a couple of months ago and while there was no hint of a pity party involved, the fact is that all three of us had been through it so there was a connection that didn’t need to be spoken. The talk was upbeat, the food was good and we enjoyed the time together. Jenny brought a photo from a trip I had taken with her, her late husband and a group of friends about 27 years ago, which was quite a “blast from the past.”
Back-Back story: the trip was in the Four Corners area. We flew into Durango, and drove down through Cortez and into Bluff, Utah, where we started the trip. Floated the San Juan river for three days, taking our sweet time going from Bluff to Mexican Hat. Did a lot of exploring of Indian ruins, etc. From Mexican Hat, we went up into the Valley of the Gods on a hiking trip with llamas as pack animals. Great trip. I suppose we were in many ways the usual tourists—love your term “tourons”—but hopefully more respectful of the country and the people than many. And definitely not woo-woo wannabees. Anyway, the photo Jenny brought showed a few of us looking at artifacts at a particularly interesting ruin with the archaeologist who went along on the trip—not an academic, but an old rancher who was largely self-taught and good enough that he did some major work with the National Park Service. I was blown away by seeing fingerprints in the clay shards—fingerprints of a unique individual who was there 700 or more years ago working this clay. I couldn’t get over the impact that had on me. Anyway, from this you know where I’m headed:
Sunday, after tending to some chores and such, it was time to relax and enjoy, so I picked up The Book again and opened it to the next story which happened to be: Nautiloid. Wow. The prior evening, I had been transported back to Four Corners by seeing Jenny and the photo. So when I saw Cortez in the story, I was already back there in a way. Then the group of friends, the dealing with cancer, the trip on the San Juan… it was as though I had been set up for this story to resonate deeply with me.
What is your story of a story weaving with your life? Or your story of one of your stories weaving with another’s life? Please send us those stories. You never know when your words might be an antidote.