So many ideas gather at the Water Cooler I call my brain that the chatter and gossip bump into each other and my observer role can’t keep up. Which way to go, which bread crumb of a conversation will lead me to where I want to go? Want to go? Need to go? Which one will take me to the door I am looking for, the Ali Baba treasure cave of understanding and wisdom?
The theme of my life, as best as I can make out, introduced itself to me when I discovered that one day I would die. It had to introduce itself, there is no way my five or six year old mind could have constructed it. Of course some of the fundamental elements had been put in place by my experiences. I knew about stories. Everyone in my home told me stories. In the stories my grandfather told me, I was always the good boy, the one who did the right thing, the honest, if uncomfortable thing.
So when my atheistic mother had no way to comfort me, no way to wade through the flooding tears that overwhelmed me, I was left to figure it out for myself. And I did. It seemed the only answer that made any sense.
“It’s like this,” I told my twelve year old sister who had been running my bath, ” we are in a book of stories, and God is reading us. When we die, that means He has finished reading our story. But He can always pick up the book and read about us again.”
She didn’t argue.
I have kept that explanation with me, and dressed it, addressed it, and re-dressed it in a variety of religious and philosophic clothes my entire life. When I interviewed for a trainee position in the Psychodrama Department at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington DC, a psychodramaticly conducted interview on stage, I knew that a very important door was opening for me.