You know who asks that Most Important Question of the Day? The people who care to be your life’s witnesses.
No, not just life, but also after.
My mother used to ask me that every day. I mean, literally, every, single, day. “How was your day? What did you learn? Whom have you met? What did you do?”
Took me a while to understand what she really wanted to know by asking these questions. Isn’t today more or less the same as yesterday? Aren’t there more shit going on than promotions and bonuses and accidental stumbles on chocolate factories? Did she really want to know about every day? REALLY?
Then again, this is my mother asking. And she wouldn’t ask if she didn’t mean it. And I don’t want to keep telling her how miserable my life is, every time she asks, right?
So I sieve through the details; shaking the patterns and rearranging the patches into a story episode that can be enjoyable, understandable and shareable with my mother.
Because, as sons and daughters, we also want to convey to her that, as
shitty hard as it gets, she needn’t worry about us. We want her to believe that she has done something right in setting the stage for us.
And because our stories are her daily reminder that she’d done something right her own life too.
A devoted son once told me that “God is in our parents’ shadows.” And there’s a Jewish tradition that says, “the shortest distance between man and God is through a story.”
Now, if our stories can be told to our mothers, and in her shadow is God, does it also mean that our stories can bring us closer to God?
And isn’t the Most Important Question of the Day the opening line to our stories?
The next time someone asks, as shitty as your day could have been spent amongst the lizards and demons of some rejected hell, try to answer well.
For your sake.
PS: I found out that, since I started posting everyday, that the question and my mother’s voice have been coming into my head more often. I’m glad I’ve been writing everyday. These stories are drafts for my mother.
PPS: Atheists, replace the word “God” with anything that suits you; e.g. Higher Self, Force, Money, Cosmos, Humanity. It works all the same way.
PPPS: إيش مِعنا اليهود، ياالله؟! ليش مش الجاوه و لا العرب؟ و لا – على الأقل – المدونون و الزاحفون نحو ظلك؟
Oh, and this story has been featured on iToot!