“My sisters told me I was Elvis’ lovechild.”
We chatted outside of the pro-life meeting we had just left. She looked, sounded, and had an unnaturally skinny husband like a smoker. He wore a Kansas City Royals ball cap with the plastic tag still sticking out like a miniature feather. He stood off to the side leaning towards the way home. He looked unperturbed by this admission of questionable lineage. I was afraid a breeze would come and do more than rustle his long sandy hair.
The woman wasn’t entirely sure. Her mother had gone dancing with Elvis. Elvis liked her. Her father was deployed in the Navy. The timing of her birth didn’t really put any suspicions to rest. Who would ever know?
As I write this, 2 of my 13 siblings are laying on the floor, their shirts pulled up, watching lady bugs crawl up their bellies. “They can sleep in your bellybutton!” cries the girl to her brother.
These scenes remind me of a quote by Charles Jennings, the father of Peter Jennings – formerly of ABC News and this world. “Everyone has a story if you will listen to them,” is my paraphrase.
Or as Ray Bradbury put it,
“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
Maybe you are listening to other people admit the most fantastic details of their life, like the long-haired smoker. Or maybe you are like me and you are nodding and asking questions and giving the tale-teller your undivided attention. Or maybe you are the museum guide, explaining your life, making the details come to life in interactive displays. If all the world can be a stage, it can also be a museum with living, changing displays. And if it’s a museum, how will you curate your exhibit? How will you arrange the displays of the persons who interact with you and leave their displays in your life/exhibit? These are questions that inspire excitement within me. This museum might not be free, but it will be full of wonder.
[By the way, did you know a synonym for the noun form of “exhibit” is “show”? I might write about that next…]