25 May 2011

As the World Turns

* Please excuse the hat tip to a soap opera that I have unwittingly watched off and on since I was small and actually had summer vacations...it is no longer with us, and I do sometimes miss it. *

Webster's (we're good friends) defines history as a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account. In case anyone cares, I think that's a good definition. I applaud the use of the descriptive narrative. When I think of history, I don't hone in on dates or wonder about the decade and which party was in power. I think of the story.

I want to know: why is he dancing? Is it because of the weather? Did he just hear good news? Did someone teach him a new dance step, or is he teaching someone else? Was he laughing at the end of this shot? How big is his audience?

Do you wonder what the boy is thinking in the next picture? Does he whine to his grandpa, wanting to know when they get to go back to the house? Or does he ask if they can go farther, stay longer, and ride more? Is it a school holiday, making it blissfully fun? Or just another weekend, and perhaps they do this EVERY weekend?

Maybe this took place after school let out for the day, and he's either excited to go home and have fried chicken, or he's dreading the homework that awaits him. And what about the grandpa? Is the shirt blue? Or is it pink? Does he have a sense of humor, or is he all business with his grandson...or grandnephew, maybe?

There's a song that I hear on the radio from time to time, and it has this line that I can never get out of my head: "Everyone dies famous in a small town." Try to read that with a twang and big hair if you could, and maybe a rhinestone belt. I don't know who sings it or the name of it, but it's on the country music stations.

That's right. Country. Yeehaw.

I think the line is pertinent. I think it's true. So much happens to all of us and we have so many thoughts and emotions within every second, minute, hour, and passing of our days. Life goes by fast, but it is so, so full of...everything.

Did you remember to tell all of your stories? Does someone know about the famous person that you ate lunch with in college? Does someone know the independent, scary things you did by yourself that made you confident and brave? The stuff that even you can't believe you did? Someone needs to know.

Someone needs to know if you rode your horse in a parade for the first time through the middle of town, and even though there were sirens and bells and bands and singing and whistles and hoots and hollers, THE HORSE DIDN'T THROW YOU. The horse throws you every morning at home, in the serene silence of the hay patch, but not on Main Street. And when you got home and offered a carrot stick, the horse spit it back at you.

The feelings and the atmosphere and the LIVING are all the best parts, so I'm gonna start telling some stories here. Not mine...I'm already telling plenty of mine...but everyone else's. Maybe you'll like to read them as much as I like to hear them. To go "oh my gosh I can't believe they did that back then, too." Or to think: "I never knew that about her."

Happily, I happen to know who the people are in these pictures, and I know a few details of their taking, but I wish I could ask them face to face. I wish I could ask them what they had for breakfast and how they fell in love and why they named their babies what they named them and what they wanted to be when they grew up, but since I can't, I'm going to go and ask as many people as I can now.

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