Writing is my favorite activity. My second favorite is engaging in lengthy one-on-one conversations with doers: People who make things happen.
Steve is one such person.
Over the years, I worked with Steve on a handful of small projects related to his business and during that time an interesting story began to unfold.
Many people know Steve as a successful business owner.
Some know him as a Top 10 recording artist – Gunhill Road
Others refer to him as a subject in a documentary film.
About two years ago, I began listening to Roy Peter Clark’s podcast version of his book – “Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer”. I listened to the tools over and over again, and much like a musician learns to play a solo on the guitar; I rehearsed with my writing instrument.
In the podcast, Tool #14 is entitled “Get the Name of the Dog” and it includes a bit about a reporter noticing a piece of tape over a light switch. Always ask about the light switch.
Recently, I met Steve at his office, and during my visit we listened to tracks from his band’s new CD and when I got home I watched videos, and reviewed online photos capturing the making of the documentary film which chronicles the history and reunions the band plans to have, “Every 40 Years”.
The ability to leave enough space in your life to allow the room to really listen and take in all of the details of such a story can be a challenge in this texting, tweeting, updating, instagraming society. Some of us may remember time spent as a child sitting at the feet of an elder as they took us on a journey to a place we’d never been, or a time we’d never experience.
In contrast, the word count for this article is currently 489, and I’m worried that’s already too many calories when compared to the trending 140 character diet.
Turns out, it is the final frontier. The people with enough time in their day. The people with the ability to prioritize. The people who do. They have mastered time and space.
A few months ago while visiting my parents, my father told a story about a road trip he took as a teen. “I’ve never heard that story,” my mother said with delightful surprise.
Forty-nine years of marriage and over thirty years running a business together, and they can still manage to unravel a thread in their intertwined lives with an untold story.
“You probably just forgot,” my father teased.
As we sat together eating our Chinese take-out, I wondered how many untold threads did each of them have that were yet to be unraveled?
Skeins, would be my guess.
Create space in your life, and gently fill it with curiosity and interactions with others using in-person dialog and real facial expressions. Great stories are all around us.
UPDATE: Gunhill Road’s CD is now available: