Sunday, April 14, 2013

Once Upon A Time

"There's the great 'Once upon a time...' which is a marker...this is not the here and now. You can let your imagination run wild. You can go to places you'd be scared to go otherwise. You can say things that you're afraid to talk about and in just mysterious ways you come to understanding and resolution. Not resolution, I should say, because we have to keep working through things."

-Maria Tatar
(interviewed for the podcast On Being)

We've spent a considerable amount of time these last few months talking about what to do next. What do we want to be when we grow up? Where will we move? Will we teach English abroad? Move home? Move someplace new? Will I get a masters degree? Will I ever "use" my teaching degree? What kind of life do we want to create?

To my older and wiser friends, they tell me this is a thrilling place to be.
To my younger and simpler friends, we all look around at each other with horrified glances trying to figure out what to do next, nonetheless, just how to correctly file our taxes.

I've been thinking about story lately with renewed vigor. We've been reading Donald Miller's book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years about living a better story. We've actually started saying, "WWDD?" (meaning "What would Donald do?") assuming that he must be the best person to advise when wanting to live a greater story.

We want to take risks.
We want to go on adventures.
We want life to pass not only by fiscal years and hours spent at a job, but in moments we've created and fostered and grown.

There must be something to writing this all down.
There must be something to putting it out there.
To speak as though this is surely happening.

I heard the Maria Tatar quote above and thought to myself, "Well, there you have it. If the very phrase 'Once upon a time...' evokes a gateway into imagination and boldness and mystery, that's the perfect place to begin our story."

And so it goes...

Once upon a time, a young couple fell deeply in love. They were soon married and began to explore this brave new world with fresh eyes and open hearts. He found a work he craved among God's greatest canvas in teaching youngsters how to engage with the world by teaching them how to engage with the wild. She dove into helping women and fighting for justice wherever she was needed. They lived in various states, countries, and homes. They became acquainted with many people and places. They paid rent, spent time with people they loved, and at the end of the day they had each other. Details of who and where and how and when pale in comparison to the fact that when life showed up, so did they. 

And that's good enough for now.