What’s the Story, Morning Glory?

When is it time to put aside our daily chores and pay attention to the story being revealed around us? I can’t help but reflect on this today with a related circumstance in my past.

My sophomore year in high school, I played a role in Bye, Bye, Birdie, a musical which (according to Wikipedia) demonstrates satire on American society, set in 1958. The story was inspired by the phenomenon of popular singer Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the Army in 1957. The rock star character’s name, “Conrad Birdie,” is word play on the name of Conway Twitty.[1] best remembered today for his long career as a country music star, but in the late 1950s, he was one of Presley’s rock ‘n’ roll rivals.

The story hits on romance, celebrity, the war, and how teens handle all this. My favorite part of the production is a section called the Telephone Hour. In this, I and another half dozen or more teens act out a game of Telephone, where one at a time, we spread the word of the latest romantic couple to get “pinned” or “go steady”.  It’s fast-paced, catchy and fun to perform. One of my solo lines in the song was, “What’s the story, Morning Glory?”

As I sit at my desk writing this, 7:30am, I see emergency vehicles combing the area, for there has been another drowning out at the cliffs behind the complex I live in. A mother and father, companions of their daughter, police and EMS professionals are on the verge of exploding at the news of the rescue. Around them sit TV crews announcing the story, reporting on updates, creating today’s version of the Telephone Hour. But this one isn’t fun.

I was pulled into the drama, for the TV crews have been here since 5am, their high-powered trucks right outside my unit, humming anticipation.Eventhough I had wanted to get busy with my morning writing, I couldn’t overlook the tension and need in the air.

What’s the story? For me, it’s about paying attention. Being present. Yes, there is work to do, people to see, places to go. But, in the line of another work of art, Death of a Salesman,

Attention must be paid.

Prayers need to be said, respect given and moments of pause practiced for those who really need support right now. Our work, our daily tasks, we will always have with us. But we won’t always have the the opportunity to pay tribute to humanity, to our brothers and sisters, to those around us who deserve a moment of our time. Especially when they have a story to tell.

Once we pay attention, our work, our daily tasks, get that much easier. For they weren’t nearly as important as life going on around us. You connect when people share their story. Share yours. Fast-paced and catchy or thought-provoking and serious, stories speak to us.

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On September 7th, 2012, posted in: alertness, presence, relationship, Uncategorized by