Entire Worlds


I went to see David Sedaris last night, and I ended up going on my own. The plans I had made with a friend weeks ago fell through when she got sick, and no one else was available on such short notice, so I walked into a crowded Arlington Theater with two tickets, one of which remained intact. The theater was full and everyone looked to be in a good mood. I have been wanting to see David Sedaris for quite a few years now, and when I saw his name on the UCSB Arts & Lectures calendar months ago, I grabbed two tickets immediately. Me Talk Pretty One Day made me laugh so hard I cried, and I also love his features on This American Life and other NPR programs. Whenever I've made a list of Writers Who Inspire Me Most, he's on it, because he creates that lovely balance between being funny and poignant, all in the same sentence.

While I was waiting for the program to begin, I looked around at everyone in the theater, and took a moment to consider what each of these audience members had brought into the theater - what were their stories, their losses, what dreams and memories and experiences were they carrying? I imagined each person in the 2000+ seat theater holding an entire universe, each with countless details and breaths and blinks, and it was actually awe-inspiring. And - unexpectedly - it made me soften inside, made everything in my body and breath settle down just a tiny bit. For how could I not breathe more deeply in the presence of so much of what the world has to offer? What journeys had these people been on? Who among them has seen the pyramids, given birth, buried a friend, built a business, planted a vegetable garden, owned a parakeet, flown a plane, earned an A+++ on their third grade science project?

We come across these worlds everyday, in every moment, as we hustle and bustle through the grocery store, picking up our children from school and even writing our blog entries. What do I know of the worlds that anyone reading this holds in their souls right now? I know nothing, except that in each of those worlds there is beauty and grace, sorrow and joy, and magical memories of long-ago summer evenings, the laughter from yesterday and all the love in the world.