Telling Stories

Last week I wrote about the Common Ties website, the site where people are invited to tell the stories of their lives – not their entire lives, but things that happen in those small moments of time. It’s well worth a few minutes of your time to browse.

Well I found another site this week that is on the same lines as Common Ties, but with a bit more bite – www.smithmag.net. Its taglines are: “Everyone has a story to tell. Tell yours here” and “SMITH explores storytelling in all its forms. We’re personal and participatory. Read a story. Write a story. Come in.”

My favorite feature of the site is the popuLIST. Every week they ask a question based on something from the week’s news and people submit their answer in 100 words or less. This week’s question is: “What three minutes of your life would you like to upload and watch again and again?” I find myself thinking about that question frequently during the day. Coming up with one three-minute event from the past 43 years is tough. There are moments of looking into someone’s eyes and kissing them for the first time, that I wouldn’t mind watching over and over again or the time I drank my first beer. That was pretty fun.

I’d really like to watch me holding my children for the first time, right after they’d popped out all wet and fresh and new. I was a little busy being overwhelmed that I missed absorbing those moments.

I’d even consider the three-minutes at the cemetery just before they buried Bruce. I was standing near the casket. It was snowing and ironically a train was passing by, blowing its whistle (Bruce was killed by a train). The pastor was praying and everyone had their heads bowed. I looked up and scanned the crowd. My friend Todd was looking up, too, and he caught my eye and gave me a look so full of love and concern that I can still feel its effects deep in my heart. Nothing in our lives prepared us for a moment like that and yet he conveyed to me in one look what all the flowers and hugs and money from everyone else couldn’t begin to express. Yes, I think that’s the three minutes I’d want to watch again and again. 

Also at smithmag, I really liked the winners of the Six-Word Resolution contest. They include:

Run faster, fret less, kiss more (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

Stop whining. Keep Walking. Eat Chocolate (Rebecca Drooks)

Eat right, vote left, stay centered (Dave Zee)

Change the World, or my underwear (Scott Weaver)

I will make all new mistakes (Wesley Stewart)

Less Things, More Gratitude, Goodbye Mustache (Mr. Fancipants)

Maybe I’ll try Buddhism. Why not? (jbrown)

My favorite was “Kiss Jon Stewart on the mouth” by Martha Garvey, however, I’d probably change it to Jay Thomas. Just sayin’.

I tried my hand at six-word resolutions and came up with two that sounded doable. To address my miserly loner-like existence: “Get out there and meet people.” And to address my issues of self-doubt: “Believe in myself for five minutes.” Boring, yes, but more probable than kissing Jay Thomas (or Jon Stewart, I’m not picky) on the mouth.

So which three minutes of your life would you want to replay over and over again? What’s your six-word resolution? We all have stories to tell and share. At least think about it. It’s pretty fun and very cathartic.

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