|This person's name is John Emmet Tracy.|
He is one of my favorite human beings right now.
You should watch every single TV show
and movie he's in from now on.
I can't mention her by name (unless she reads this and officially gives me permission and promises not to sue me and if that happens I'll come back and edit), but I have made a friend on Twitter who's suffering all kinds of sad health problems. I've been very blessed not to have these, but I have other friends and family who've not been so fortunate. And so I can see, from watching their struggles, that when you are very very sick Life is...you know. Crap. And yet here is this lovely person who is finding ways to find joy where she can and not only that, she spreads it out to the rest of us. That's hard - if it were me, I think there's a fair amount of evidence on this blog that I'd be typing out pieces of melancholia and woe-is-me. Spreading good when you feel bad is hard, yet it's heady stuff. God love her.
I write here all the time about the power of Story. Stories are how we connect to each other - they're how we evaluate our past, our present, and our future; they're how we share our dreams; they're how we build on what others before us have built. Really, storytelling is what makes us different. I don't think any other creatures on this planet do it...maybe dolphins. And gorillas. But that's it! I'm pretty sure zebras aren't making each other cry with stories about those bad years all the lions from Nigeria killed and ate all the lions from Zimbabwe that worshipped trees because Nigerian lions believed in worshipping clouds and so all tree worshipping lions must die. And I know hippos aren't making each other laugh insanely at the crazy antics of those wild and crazy crocodiles. (Correction: animals actually do tell these stories, but they all work at Disney.)
And so when we are sick, I think it's just human nature to turn to stories and storytellers. The virus or the genetic problem or the cancer or the heart disease are destroying your physical matter, but they can't reach your soul. And therein lies the power of Story - a cancer can eat you a live, but your Story makes you You...Story keeps you thinking and dreaming and just generally going, even when Science tells you that you ought to stop.
But we have our stories and our storytellers, in books and movies and campfire tales and emails and dinner parties and television. And for many, many people, be they perfectly fine and healthy or very very sick or struggling, if you can find a story or stories to connect to, in whichever medium that works best for you, it keeps you going, it shows you why any of this even matters. And this sweet lady has found her story connections on TV shows. And one of the TV shows was a show called Olympus, which aired on the SyFy Channel and was a fabulous show and I can say that because, when I was able to stop focusing on my owned effed up life problems for two seconds, I watched several episodes of it and said out loud at least three times, "Wow! What a good show!"
To have a story, you need a storyteller. Or a team of storytellers, in the case of TV and movie stories. And sometimes, you find storytellers who are willing, because they are really kind and get why what they do matters, to go beyond just telling their story or stories and decide to reach out to the people who are connecting to the stories they tell, who are finding comfort and joy in them.
This is what I saw happen the other day - someone who is struggling with crappy crap was reached out to by other human beings who just happen to tell stories for a living. They didn't have to reach out. Telling stories for a living is a hard road to walk in a world that values material things and financial power, that doesn't recognize the value in human connection via Story unless there's bank to be made off it. And yet they all got together in spite of whatever was going on in their lives, their worlds - meeting up in offices or coffee shops or on street corners or wherever - just to sign a show poster for a sick woman. And then send it to her.
Oh my god! Internet! Do you have any idea how amazing that was?! Do you even understand how shit like this makes me want to hug every single person I meet on the street, even the scary bad ones, and go: I know you have it in you! I know at heart you are good! I know you can do good! Because sometimes other people show you that it's possible.
If you ask the person who took charge of this how they managed this, he will tell you: Eh, not a big deal...I just met them at coffee shops and we just, you know, signed it. And I know he will say that, because a friend told him what a rock star he was for doing this and that was his response.
But it wasn't about the poster, and it wasn't about the autographs. It was about the THING. The supremely endearing, kind thing a group of human beings did for another. And it completely made her day, her week, her month, her year. Because of a story. And so: heart. melted.
Why these people don't all have Emmys and/or Oscars is a travesty. A travesty, Reader(s)!
At any rate. I'm promoting them. They are all very very talented storytellers even when not spreading love and goodness throughout the planet, and so I think you should watch them in action, friend them on Facebook and/or Twitter, and when they are nominated for Emmys and/or Oscars write copious amounts of letters to the judges in charge of deciding who wins those demanding that they be given special consideration. Here they are:
Sophia Lauchlin Hirt
there were other storytellers from the show who've been incredibly sweet to her on social media, but weren't able to meet and sign the poster. They also need Emmys and Oscars, and millions of Facebook/Twitter fans (and a blue Twitter check! Twitter! WHY do some of these amazeball people not have the special person blue check yet?!), and letters demanding recognition by The Academy:
Alan C. Peterson
and last, but NOT least, John Emmet Tracy, who was the ring leader in getting the poster, meeting up with the storytellers who were available to meet him at offices and coffee shops and on street corners or whatever, and sign the poster AND then mail it to my sweet friend. What a lovely, kind, sweet human being he is. Why is he not starring in every single movie and television show right now, Hollywood? Why?
Because what ought to happen is all the kind, good people in the world like these storytellers should be in charge of the planet. I'm fairly certain if that happened the troublesome areas of the Middle East would be fixed, war and hunger and poverty would end, and joyful Utopia would ensue. I mean, one group of storytellers have made a difference in just one person's life. When was the last time a government did that? (Never. A government has never done that, that's when.)