The Stories Around Us

I spent yesterday shooting photographs and listening.

I'm rereading Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay -- this is another one I've read more than five times, so it's perfect for traveling, I can pick it up and leave in the middle of reading with no problem. It's a book that is fundamentally about memory and the importance of our (collective) memories in our sovereign lives.

So, appropriately enough, I also spent a lot of time yesterday people-watching and listening to the stories that needed to be shared with me:

A man from Southern California who told me he wanted to stay high forever.

Two Vietnam vets, who were hungry, but in good spirits.

A man who lamented the work ethic of the people he had paid to wash his whites. He asked me which I preferred, Downy or Bounty (for the record, neither).

I gathered in stories, knowing they were safe. These four men might have no homes, but they retain their humanity. It does me no harm to listen to their stories. To smile and connect. To respect.

Our stories are sacred. Our humanity is sacred.

Everyone's story deserves to be part of our collective memory. If we forget that, we lose our ability to empathize, to relate. And we lose a part of our selves.

“In this world, where we find ourselves, we need compassion more than anything, I think, or we are all alone.”
― Guy Gavriel Kay, Tigana

May you never find yourself alone. May compassion always remind you that you are always, always, in company with the people you love and are loved by. May love guide you and comfort you.

And may you be kind.