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I wondered to what extent people remained the same
as they’d been when very young;
if one peeled back the layers of living
one would come to the know the child.
[Dick Francis]

My thoughts have rambled this morning as I tidied up from my weekend activities. One of those activities was teaching a lace knitting workshop. I carried the samples spread out on a circular board so they wouldn’t muss. It got me to thinking about the metaphor of layers.

I follow a blog by a gentleman named, Tom Basson. Today’s post fit in with my musings, A Better Story. Here is what grabbed me:

Stories are universal – crossing boundaries of language, culture and age. We can all relate to stories, and it is in the context of narrative that the human heart truly responds. In fact, people have been telling and responding to stories since the beginning of time. It’s how most cultures pass on information from generation to generation.

Interestingly, recent evidence from neurology and psychology is confirming that humans think in narrative structures. Concepts conveyed in story form – more than ideas explained with logic and analysis – imprint themselves naturally into human minds.

It’s why we can remember a book or a film from years back, but can’t remember the PowerPoint we saw 10 minutes ago.

A good story has many layers just like my stack of lace. Even my lace has a story. A hundred years ago (for real), Mama first knit lace because string was free. She saved it from packages wrapped at the general store. Fifty years ago, I first knit lace because a ball of string cost less than a dollar, could entertain me for a hundred hours, and produced a more spectacular gift than I could afford to buy. It also became a way to meditate. The hours I spent knitting lace were relaxed and focused on something complex but beautiful. Now, my daughter knits lace.

So, is there a book in those few sentences? Should I call it, The Lace Knitters and make it one of those epics that move from generation to generation with layers of challenges and characters?

FOOTNOTE: Mama and I were eating a holiday meal at her retirement home when I commented upon how grumpy some of the people were. She told me, “The older you get, the more you will realize that people might acquire more layers, but underneath if they are a grumpy old person, you can bet that they were a grumpy child. If someone is a sweet-natured oldster, they were a sweet-natured child.”

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