Everybody has a story. This is something I have learned as I’ve gone along, and it’s really true. Behind the measured smiles and interactions of polite society and past the mundane details of our common existence, there are dramas and depths to each person that you cannot see, both epic in success and heartbreaking in struggle. Other than Facebook updates and Tweets about who is going where for dinner and the startling news that it is snowing in February, we usually are not very aware of what’s going on in people’s lives unless we are very close to them, and sometimes not even then. I don’t think that it is so much that people try to hide their lives from others -- it’s just terrifically impractical and often an imposition to explain everything or relive it or sometimes even be able to express in words. By design or accident, there are two outcomes: our joyful or tragic stories end up tumbling into one another, sometimes taking great veers for the interaction, or they continue to remain unknown and are buried with their owners.

What provoked this little reminder today was my doing a little intersearch on the California-based indie band Rogue Wave. I’ve heard them frequently on SIRIUS XMU, like ‘em, and wanted to hear more. I made the assumption that they are all bright shiny new pennies, just beginning their stories, with the usual triumphs and frustrations of being musicians. But just as an example of “you never know,” members of this band in the last three years have:

-- lost a former member to a house fire;
-- lost a dad;
-- suffered a serious neck and back injury;
-- made 4 changes in band personnel;
-- suffered kidney failure.

Whoa, huh? How they still can and do play music through all this is really something, I think. PBS thinks so, too; last year’s film “D tour” (from the Independent Lens series) explored drummer Pat Spurgeon’s life as a musician who must administer kidney dialysis to himself twice a day, and his search for living kidney donor after a transplant failure.

D Tour trailer from Jim Granato on Vimeo.

I miss just about everything interesting that comes on TV (alright, and everything else too), so I didn’t catch this documentary when it aired on PBS last November. I do hope PBS keeps re-running it. “D tune” is also making the rounds of film festivals (and racking up the awards) and will be available on DVD soon, so I will see it one way or another.

D tune” is another reminder of the hidden stories we don’t know but should, and that when you love what you do and have others who care about you around you, you can get through damn near anything. It also reminds us that we should all mark off the “YES” box for organ donation on our driver's licenses. It’s the second thing I do after getting a new card, after frowning at my photo on it, of course.

The world’s a stage, it is true, just not always illuminated with a bright white spotlight. Good to keep in mind.