This month at the Midnight Fire blog has been about storytelling and this is, too, really.
A few years ago I spent the entire time onboard a plane crossing the Atlantic in conversation with an old lady. She wasn’t really wealthy and never had been, but had had money enough, had used those she had to see the world. She had been traveling all her adult life and had many great stories to tell, from all over the planet, from countless different cultures and viewpoints. It was one of the most enticing flights I’ve ever had, and in spite of not having slept for almost twenty hours I wasn’t tired at all, but awake and happy and encouraged beyond words afterwards.
I could see the concealed frown on her brow, though, and waited patiently for the reason for it to reveal itself, to confirm my suspicion.
She finally asked me, almost at the end of the flight, why I, «a fairly young man» spent hours in the company of «an old hag». I explained it to her, in more detail than I had earlier. I told her that I was a traveler myself, and that I enjoyed listening to other travelers, and that hearing her stories felt so precious to me, and would be, should have been to all mankind.
It was a poignant moment, bittersweet and great. I witnessed how she glowed in gratitude and joy and a certain kind of sadness, as I did, too. She had rarely been appreciated for what she was, for her yearnings and experience. Such is the world today.
But she had seen it, seen how it truly is, how it should be, at least during many brief glimpses, and I told her so.
We haven’t met again, but I know we will, know that our paths will cross again, many times, in the centuries and millennia to come.
The reason the Neanderthals are extinct
A varied and good life