Curiosity, Meet Convenience: Hidden Stories

Remember that feeling in middle school where you introduce a friend to your parents, and you feel torn in half as you suddenlyΒ  realize there are different and sometimes incompatible versions of yourself to keep track of? Sometimes that feeling still happens when you introduce friends from different circles to each other. You are different versions of “you” with both parties and suddenly you have to find the middle ground, and it’s not always comfortable.

Blending Worlds to Deepen The Depth of the Moment

I am many people throughout the course of the day. Sometimes, I am mindful and curious and aware and gentle. Other times, I’m fast, furious, focused, and indulging in the convenient.

But the other day the two worlds met. I was eating a corn tortilla and found myself wondering how many people’s lives were involved with the whole process of making them.

From the plastic wrapper they came in to the fields the corn was grown in to the design of the package and the light switches at the factory that pumps them out. How many people were involved? Hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions if you really got right down to it (since each piece of the factory was made in another, and those people were technically involved with these tortillas…you get the idea). Who turns off the lights at the factory, what do they eat for dinner when they get home from work?

Singing Songs to the Cows

I spend half my time in a rural area. I sit on the porch and watch cows. One of them has big white spots and he’s going to turn into food someday. I watch him graze and let my heart ache a little with the awareness of his imminent demise that he has no idea about. He’s just eating grass in the sun.

But someday, people are going to eat him. They will taste the burger and not think of the girl that sat on the porch, folded book on her lap and spiderweb-filled mini-guitar singing songs to the cow as he nibbled on grass by the river. They won’t think of her or her story at all, just the food on their plate and other things on their mind at the time. How could they possibly know about her, never even mind what she had for dreams last night or for breakfast or how she gazed curiously at her corn tortillas.

I wonder about these stories that can infuse our convenient moments with curiosity. It’s easy to buy a package of corn tortillas, but it’s also possible to have curiosity for them.

Loosening the Grip of Our Own Story

In the past few days since the corn tortilla incident, I have applied this type of curiosity to other things and moments that otherwise can feel rather habitual. Brushing my teeth, making coffee, walking around the grocery store. And I’ve discovered something wonderful.

Stories are everywhere, curiosity can always be kindled. Every item on the counter, every car in the lot, every person walking by- stories on top of stories on top of stories.

It’s fun to jump into another story to see the context of our own. It can get us out of our own head, and it can bring some magic to an ordinary moment. It can also be great fuel for the imagination for writing stories and songs or working with a business problem in a new and creative way.

I feel moved to share this little tidbit because it has really stuck with me, and getting to stuck in our own story can sometimes limit us in terms of what we imagine. Imagination is great, use it whenever you can, especially when it can bring you a greater amount of gratitude and appreciation and awe for the little things in life like corn tortillas. glowy jen and zeek on couch

Are there convenient things that you take for granted a lot that may contain stories you never even imagined?

Do you think that it would be fun to look at life with this type of curiosity sometimes, or would it just make things too complicated?

Do you stare into lit up windows and wonder about the people who live inside and what they might be like?

I hope everyone is well πŸ™‚



18 thoughts on “Curiosity, Meet Convenience: Hidden Stories

  1. I think wondering these thing can bring about fascinating images in our head, but I wouldn’t do it too often. I have enough stuff shuffling around in there. I do often though look at lighted windows and wonder what the people are like inside, then make up my own stories. πŸ™‚
    How are the dogs behaving on that rural place lately? Have they gotten better?

    • πŸ™‚ I think I use this more when my mind is going numb with icky stuff, and it needs a good spark of the creative. Good point- too much would be bad!
      The dogs are a bit better- I carry a big stick to scare away the sheep dogs and have been working on my relationship to them- the boy one LOVES me so now when he barks and chases, he listens when I say “No!” and the girl gets less frantic because he’s less frantic. Hopefully that trend continues!! Thanks for your help and support in that πŸ™‚ Carrying the stick works wonders!

    • πŸ™‚ I’m glad you loved it! It’s crazy how many little ideas and personalities will be so easily imagined when I look in those windows or imagine a town with a field of corn in’s great. So many stories waiting to happen!

  2. Wow, you have totally changed what I think about corn tortillas – about everything! Thank you for reminding me to be more aware and curious. I don’t think about these things much and take it all for granted. This is a perfect piece. xx

    • I’m glad you like it πŸ™‚ haha as Jackie pointed out, it can be a bit much to think like this too much..but if you are ever in a stuck or uninspired place, it can be just the thing to jumpstart the creative engine! πŸ™‚

  3. I think this kind of delicious thinking allows our minds a break from boundaries and borders and timelines. It is a bit indulgent, but it’s also a good reminder to think about how interconnected we are, what draws us together and makes us a part of something much larger and out of our control. It can seem simultaneously futile and empowering.

  4. I was driving along a country road near my house recently–Kimesville Road–and I began to think about all the people who live at the end of that road nearest to the city. They have no idea what “Kimesville” is, or where it is. So now I’m planning a story about someone on the city end of a road taking a journey to see what’s on the country end…. I don’t know if it will work at all, but it’s great fun to play with.

    • πŸ™‚ Curiosity is maybe my favorite of all the things we can cultivate in our minds. It just helps with every single thing! haha yeah I need to sing to those cows more I feels so good!

  5. I love this! Ever since my husband and I started working in the fight against slavery, I am always wondering where my things came from. I am amazed at the stories items and food tell! I love this… great job!

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