Big news, here in my little world: On Thursday 24 March 2011, if you lived in an area where the public radio show called The Story was part of your local public radio station’s broadcast schedule, you could have heard me ON AIR. That is, if you happen to use the old-fashioned technology of a radio that is ruled by the time on the clock. Or, on that very same day, if you went to the homepage of thestory.org you’d see a picture of me, under the title of the show and you could click on LISTEN NOW! and do just that; any old time, day or night. Now that time has spiraled on, as it often does, you will need to follow this link to LISTEN NOW!.
What an experience this has been for me. I awoke on Thursday morning with the sense that something special was about to happen…but in my first consideration of the day, I could not find what that might be. Then I remembered and a smile crept over my entire body. After beginning to warm the place up, I fired up loyal Percy, my Mac laptop. (Many of my possessions have names…for example; my 1998 green Saturn is named Gardner.)
When Percy was ready for his first assignment of the day, I brought up the homepage of The Story, clicked on LISTEN NOW!, stretched out on my sweet old rocking chair and listened. If you’ve not discovered this show, I encourage you to check it out. Really. It’s a great show; one that will give you the chance to laugh or cry or learn about something that will expand your world. And since I have learned how to LISTEN NOW! online, I listen to it when I’m ready for some company here in my small, lovely cabin. And, it seems that at least a couple of times a week I am heading somewhere in my car around 2pm when the show airs on the radio here, and I listen to it “live”.
The interview for this show occurred back in early February and then Dick Gordon and Rachel McCarthy and most likely some other folks, produced the beautiful show that aired a few days ago. As I listened to the interview, there were two parallel listenings going on. One listener was on judgment patrol, looking for something to criticize myself about. The other was immediately pulled into the story, into the back and forth between Dick Gordon and I. This is the listener that took over, completely. My critic was out-voted, and became enchanted by the story. Remember, this is me listening to an interview that I’d already given. So I’d heard it all, on the day it occurred. Not to mention that I’d written the story that it was based on, and also told the same story out loud many times before. Still, I was pulled into the story, and after a while tears were rolling down my cheeks. A few of the listeners who have contacted me, have shared that they wept as they heard how this crotchety old man and I came to “see” each other. I am another one of those listeners…even though it was my story. I love that.
As you might imagine, later on that day I tuned in to 91.7 fm, the local station that carries this show. Since the only radio I have is in my car, I timed it so that I was finished with my laundry at the Laundromat by about ten ‘til two, drove over to the parking lot at the Poulsbo marina overlooking Liberty Bay, parked, and turned on the radio. I felt positively twentieth century, parked in a parking lot, listening to the radio – with a view of a sparkling bay and the curve of its shoreline, at that. Miraculously, the sun came out as I pulled into the lot. I live in the Northwest, and almost any time except in High Summer, it’s miraculous to me when the sun comes out. I rolled down all the windows, took off my boots and socks, turned on the radio and listened. Again. And I cried again. Yes, it is a personal story for me. But it surprised me that I cried again. In my world, crying’s a good thing. The second miracle is that someone didn’t park next to me with their radio blaring out their favorite station. Two miracles, right there. That is the definition of a great day.
One of my friends left a message on my voicemail. She said, “Why aren’t you home so you can receive praise?!?” She thought the show was great, and I do too. I hope you’ll listen and I hope it makes you cry.
To read the actual story, The Queen of the Flowers, click HERE