After spending a week teaching storytelling at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, my ten students performed in a showcase on the final night of the week. Minutes before I was to take the stage and start the show, a woman who looked a lot like Elysha walked into the room.
It turns out that it was Elysha. She had driven up to Stockbridge to surprise me.
I was thrilled. After a week apart, I couldn't take my eyes off her. Couldn't stop kissing her.
My students had just spent a week hearing a lot about Elysha. As a storyteller, it's inevitable. I tell stories in my workshops that serve as models for my lessons, and so many of those stories include my wife.
Now my students were meeting the woman who they had only heard about before now. A fictional character of sorts had come to life. Whenever this happens, the response is almost always the same.
"Elysha is so beautiful."
But it's always said with a bit of astonishment, which leads me to assume that what they are really saying is this:
"Elysha is so beautiful. How did someone like you - a neckless neckless stump with legs for arms - manage to marry such a beautiful woman?"
I'm pretty sure that this is exactly what they are saying, and it never makes me feel very good.