I’m on the sidewalk in front of our post-World War II salt box, stretching for the three-times-a-week nightly run. The steep slope to the east makes it easier to jog the two blocks toward the busy street, despite the neighbor kids’ toys habitually left in the middle of block two’s sidewalk.
I take off at a fast-walk, cross the street and begin a quick jog. Despite the custom playlist beating in my head, I hear each foot fall on the pavement in rhythm. My shoulders open, I feel taller, healthier…and free. Fatigue is a phantom and I may as well be flying the 3.75 mile route instead of running it.
A voice-over murmurs There’s no way you can get back into rhythm without an asthma attack or cardiac arrest. It’s been four years and forty-five pounds ago since you last ran. The voice-over isn’t lying: I am heavier – way heavier – than the long ago running days
But I persist: one foot, then the other. Slow, growing faster and faster with each step. It feels natural. I begin to feel lighter, healthier, and agile and more like me.
Then my husband rouses himself for work and rouses me awake. Except for the voice-over’s truthful accusation of the four years and forty-five pounds ago part, it was all just a random dream.
Then again, maybe it wasn’t so random if I ponder the dream with a disconnection from life’s busy-ness and discernment.
Maybe that dream was a bit of a prophecy.
Republican, Democrat, Independent, Undecided or Apathetic, the past couple years have sapped us emotionally, spiritually and physically. Then again, maybe that’s just me.
The Sapping has been an inescapable blanket of fog that's fettered words that would otherwise easily come much like the eternity ago when I was a slimmer, more agile running me. But freed words and feelings have been a distant memory for some time.
Today The Fog and I entered a simple library meeting room for a meet and greet/rehearsal for the grand finale performance of Milwaukee’s Listen To Your Mother Show.
It felt like we were all 14 years-old and it was freshman orientation. All of us, including co-producers Alexandra and Jenny, knew we were excited to be there, but man. There was The Fog hanging over the nervous, excited chatter, hugging and…waiting.
Waiting for the stories.
One story had us feeling something vaguely familiar to a feeling we stowed away over the past few years. More stories resurrected more feelings and we felt like ourselves. Comfortable in the words we heard and awakened feelings, we didn’t even realize that more stories had us reaching for tissues as the ache it caused melted an eye-opening empathy we almost – almost – forgot about.
We remembered our stories aren’t stories – they are us – people – all traveling this same humanity journey.
|Photo Credit: Carrie Stuckmann|
Somewhere in between and underneath those emotions, we remembered the insanity of humanity of our shared journey and giggled, guffawed with gut-busting, snort-laughing laughter. (Disclaimer: It was me who snort-laughed)
But The Fog had lifted for all of us. We flew today as we listened and felt each others’ footfalls in a rhythm to some playlist we forgot existed.
I guess maybe my dream wasn’t a dream after all.
This year's show is so much more than a show. It's uplifting and life-changing.
You'll cry, you'll think, you'll snort-laugh.
Mark your calendars for May 7th and check back here for ticket information.
Hope to see you there!