Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The definition of "awed"

I love the mind buzz that happens when I make a new connection that I’ve never seen before. Sometimes the realization isn’t even one hundred percent, but just the possibility that I’m being enlightened about something that can make my ears tingle.

My friend Julie and I were holding our writing workshop tonight. We were discussing a piece of her memoir. I felt very excited when a parallel became clear to me that she’s working on in her manuscript. For a brief flash I could envision her completed work—finished and structured and published.

I have moments like this with my own memoir, but tonight’s revelation was smaller. Just more of two parallel moments worth exploring. Something that might have had a bigger impact on me than I ever realized before.

Well, I’m not one to tease and leave, so—When I was in grammar school, a certain teacher made a joke to explain a point. I can’t for the life of me (what a strange expression) remember what word he was trying to illustrate, but it must have been something like “awed”.

So, Mr. Teacher says, “Imagine that Danny is standing in a room and then all of a sudden the door opens and Sheila walks in wearing black lingerie.” All of our little minds were trying to compute what this meant. I remember feeling awkward, yet somehow pleased to be plucked out of all my other classmates to be described as causing this interesting effect. Not that any of us kids knew what he was talking about at the time.

The story gets stranger. When I first came on stage one shift at The Oasis, (now a Starbucks coffee house) I spun around to come face to face with the aforementioned teacher. Here I was, dressed in black lingerie, facing down the man who had envisioned just such a scenario.

Suffice it to say, he did look “awed”.

After I spun back around, all I saw was an empty barstool amidst a sea of smarmy faces.

Could it be that somehow or other that one comment expressed when I was a child burrowed its way inside my soul and took root? Did my whole life divert itself to fulfill a teacher’s word definition? I set out to awe the world just to recapture that brief moment of feeling special?

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