Joy Station: The Story is under the stories.

Tomorrow is the breast MRI. I’m to report to the imaging center at 1:30 for paperwork. Table-time is 2. I’m doing a cash deal instead of fooling with the health insurance company. I’d have to wait another month to work through that mucky mire.

Yet, I’m thinking about the stories I want to write.

There’s a Big Story that I’ve been playing with: chatting with the characters, listening to songs they like, asking them about their lives. The working title is “Daisy and the Great Beyond.”

I love Daisy. I Daisy’s friends. But when I look at their story in my mind’s eye, I see it underneath a big stack of other stories.

The big stack is all of the short pieces that I’ve been thinking about writing for ages but haven’t. These are personal stories where I catch up on fleshing out a half a century of journaling.

The Elliott Smith blog post was one of those stories. It felt so good to finally write it. But mostly it felt great to find the frame for it that made it not about me, or even about him really, but about a transcendent experience of crossing paths with others.

That’s where I’m trying to go:

Creating stories that stem from my experience,
and place them in a transcendent frame.

Being courageously vulnerable.
Courageously tender, honest, fair, and compassionate, too.

I’m looking at the stack of stories with a knowing that I won’t be as courageously vulnerable as Daisy and her friends are asking me to be until I write the small stories first.

I won’t say it’s a clearing of clutter.

It’s more like going through the room at a party and spending a little time with everyone before I find a comfortable chair and sit down with that one person with whom I really want to dig into a conversation. That old friend with whom there is no time or space. There’s only friendship and love and laughter and the memory tears.

That’s how Daisy’s Story feels to me. Her Story is the Big Story under the little stories.Blue sky daisy meadow.

Daisy’s story has been with me since 2012. And she keeps popping up, like the perennial flower that she is.

So I will go one-by-one, story-by-story, until the pile is cleared, and I am freed to listen to her with full attention.

Now, I’ll wave at her from time to time to let her know I’m heading her way. She’ll wave back and smile. She may even disappear from view once in a while. But we’ll meet eventually, and we will enter the space without space and the time without time … and talk … and listen. And make something together.


Here’s a great interview about one artist’s creative process.

“Most artists, if they’re honest, are never solo artists.”
Thom Yorke of Radiohead


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