I was scrolling twitter one day when one of my favorite writers (Sarah Kay), had started a thread about minor super powers, "small/specific skills/tasks you could be depended on to deliver".
I chimed in, naturally.
I listed mine as the following being able to sleep on a plane, immediately remembering the names of people I'm introduced to, and driving in New York City.
And while I don't discount the awesomeness of driving in New York City or being able to sleep way up in the sky - it's the remembering if names that I'm finding to be most helpful.
What's in a name?
That seems to be a question that we carry through the ages. Naming of kids. Naming of rights. Naming of wrongs. Whose name do you carry? Whose name do you not? Names of people. Names of places. Names of things.
Sometimes I think we forget that names stand for something - for we live in an age where hashtags have become names of the fallen and cities of the hurting.
Names start movements.
Names steer the roads of politics.
And yet - how often do we forget to ask the name of the people we meet? How many times do you get a coffee and not address your barista by name? When you go get dinner do you ask the name of the waiter/waitress? Do you make an effort to remember it?
So many things are wrapped in a name - the blank slate of a story yet to be written, the hopes and dreams of a parents promise. Perhaps even the sins of our fathers and mothers,
There's a restaurant I go to after almost every sound check when I'm doing a show at Feinstein's/54 Below.
And no, I'm not telling you, because when we go, we usually don't have to wait for a table, and I'd like to keep it that way.
But anyway, after a week of multiple rehearsals, we found ourselves always going back to this culinary treasure. And we happened to have the same waitress. And I realized on like, day three that I didn't know her name.
Chantal, she said.
Hi Chantal, I'm Megan.
And she smiled, and asked all of us our names. And we had a laugh for a brief moment and it was a lovely New York moment that they write into your most favorite sitcoms.
Chantal was happy cause we asked her what her name was - the joy in her face was obvious. We saw her. As a human. As a person. As someone with a name.
I think of that day often now, just as I think of the thread of minor superpowers that Sarah started.
Maybe it's silly, but I think the world needs more people who think of things like remembering names and make lists of actual superpowers that you have within you.
The world doesn't need people to fly, but we do need people who pour love into people and see the humanity behind the stories.
It rained in New York today, and I couldn't help but think of all those people hurting in Texas.
And each second I watch the news, my heart breaks even more.
And I want to hold my arms open wide and carry the weight of the world.
And I want to build a house that can shelter everyone, with a table that can seat us all.
I am no architect,
...but I am a writer.
So, I'll build with words, and remember names, and use my minor superpowers to pour love back into this world, and this crazy time in which we all live.