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  • A friend of mine makes an advent calendar every year. This year she gave it to one of her writing mentors. She filled each day with a grain of rice, meticulously etched with a different phone number on each one. She asked storyteller friends of hers to be responsible for a specific day of the month. My assignment was to pick up my telephone at 7:30 am on December 7th. My only guidelines were to answer the phone and to share something.

    I decided to set up a Google Voice message line and put a call out for "Good Morning" voicemails from friends and family. I received messages from people I hadn't heard from in 5 or 6 years! Messages came from Vermont, Israel, Moscow, Indiana, Massachusetts... I edited some of my favorites together, layered in my Poppi singing again at the beginning (because it seemed perfect and I can't get enough of it), and mixed it with an Express Rising song.

    I picked up the phone and played my piece for this stranger. My heart was beating so fast as I played all of these strung together voices for someone I had never met. In the end, she told me that she had to meet me, and that it was the most marvelous gift.

    She emailed me yesterday to tell me that she's been playing it every morning as part of her waking ritual.

    I am grateful that my friend gave me an opportunity to craft something. I am grateful for all of the people that chose to leave their voices on that message line. I am grateful for the stranger who consumed my creation with such ravenous appreciation and delight. And I am so grateful for each day that I rise again.
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