My partner and I went to an intimate Jazz/folk club concert last night, with a relatively unknown but excellent singer-composer. We sat at one of the last available tables in a corner, next to someone who read a newspaper. I noticed how I had a story about it being impolite to read a newspaper at a concert. Others didn’t even talk among themselves but listened intently to the lyrics and music…! This stewed for a while, fueled by the sounds of the newspaper as he turned the pages.
Until life, as it sometimes does, brought up a complete reversal of the story.
During the intermission, I discovered that he was the husband of the performer. From what she had said about him from the stage (without mentioning that he was in the audience), and the song she had written about him, their relationship seemed very affectionate and mutually supportive, and he had even come with her from Texas as support. Later on, I even learned that he was the one who had encouraged her solo career (!).
It made me feel pretty stupid, and was also a reminder of the nature of stories… the mind creates stories (it’s its job), and these stories are just innocent questions. When we take them as anything more than that, we get caught up in them, and now the mind’s job is to make them appear true… by finding evidence and create supporting stories. And this, inevitably, creates a sense of something being off, even suffering sometimes.