You know that moment after Thanksgiving dinner, where everybody is still lingering around the dinner table, reluctant to clean up, maybe still nursing a beverage or a dessert? Most of the bickering came out over the meal—the politics and avoiding politics, the Mom-doesn’t-like-your-new-spouse, the confronting Grandpa’s racism—and you’re all out of steam, just listening to each other chew until somebody perks up, points out a decoration you’ve been using for decades, or the way Uncle Danny’s leaning back in his chair like he would when he was a kid but doesn’t anymore except around family because around family he’s the third boy and a troublemaker all over again even though in real life he’s a Branch Manager at the local credit union, and then like the first sparkle of stars at sunset, somebody starts telling a story.
And in that moment, we listen. And maybe some of the grudges start to fall away as we recognize ourselves in the story about how Uncle Danny broke his collarbone falling backwards in a chair; or how at age thirteen, your cousin Bethany refused to sleep in her own bed for a year after watching The Silence of the Lambs, and how her parents nearly got a divorce because of it; or how little Sam, as a flower girl, had ambled down the aisle stuffing flower petals in her mouth instead of dropping them on the floor.
And we laugh, wiping tears from our eyes, because we can relate. Because we’ve experienced some version of this story in our own lives. Through our very human fallibilities, we are united. Storytelling does that for us.
As we rollover next week to Volume 3 of the New Southern Fugitives, I would like to express gratitude for all that has come before—for the stories that have uplifted us and reminded us that we are not alone in our experiences. And I would like to express gratitude for the stories to come. Regardless of how divided our world may feel, I am convinced that we will always find connections to one another in the stories we tell.
Thank you for joining us here at the New Southern Fugitives. We are so pleased to serve you our very best stories.