Saturday, September 17, 2011

What I Learned at Story

"Beauty will save the world." ~Fyodor Dostoevsky
If you are connected to me at all on Facebook or Twitter, you are well aware that I have just attended the Story conference in Chicago . . . which from this point forth (at least as far as I have the authority to dictate) will no longer be called the Story "conference," but the Story experience.

There's really no other way to explain it.

I can't tell you what I learned.

Sure, I can recite several new poignant quotes and tidbits of trivial information. (For example, Ed Saxon, producer of Silence of the Lambs, did a cameo as a head in a jar in that film. And his grandmother was a Rockette. And he didn't inherit those genes. And I have the video to prove it. ;)

But what practical information did I learn? What new skill will I be taking home to apply to my craft?

Well. I just don't know.

I do know this:

When I exited that building today (or technically yesterday), I chose to walk back to the hotel, instead of taking a cab. (Okay, so that may be rationalized as a life-saving effort, but there's more . . .)

As I crossed through the less desirable part of town, I didn't see poverty; I saw precious people.

I didn't dwell on the gravel-lined, chain-link fence. But I grinned at a lone, purple flower defying its environment.

I didn't feel fear; I felt the protection of God.

When a passing cab driver yelled obscenities to the horse-drawn carriage that was slowing the pursuit of the American dream, I was reassured by the strength and power and rhythm of slow and steady hooves.

I was lifted by the orange and yellow ruffled flower pinned to lapel of the weathered lady who was carting her life's treasures behind her.

Tonight, as I finally get the chance to rest and reflect, I'm not whining about the industrial glare through my hotel window; I am grateful for the light, casting cross-shaped coronas just for me.

And when I could be snuggling into a comfy hotel pillow, I am choosing to press on, hold my little instrument, and write.

So, what did I learn from the Story experience?

I'm sorry; I can't tell you.

But keep watching, my friends, and I promise, I'll show you.


Jamie said...

Love it! Well done!

Tammy said...

So true! Thanks for sharing!

blueschaeffer said...

WOW! Sounds amazing as it looked like it would be and so much more. Maybe next year I can join you! Can't wait to get the full debrief and to see what God has put you up to :D.

Kim said...

Beautifully written! I see you growing like a magnificent flower! Keep shining girl! Love you!

katie said...

this is beautiful!! i think you embody the heart & soul of STORY quite well. :) thanks for being a part of it!!

Amy Parker said...

Jamie, Tammy, Laura, Kim, and Katie--thank you all so much. It was a wonderful experience. <3