She sat across the table from me not that long ago. We were talking about something that had just happened – she was talking, really – I was listening, trying to make sense of my thoughts.
She was frustrated. I was too, and tired. Tired of facing the questions that creep around inside, the ones that pop up and hit you when you’re least expecting it. The ones that twist and nag and say things like it doesn’t really matter, anyway and who do you think you are and just go home and go to bed.
Maybe that last one is just me. My thought process often presents this one as a reasonable and well-thought out alternative to living life in the real world…
So I sat and listened. The things she said were true, even though we don’t want them to be, wish that they weren’t. The world around us is a hard place. People don’t change easily, or often. I know all this. And I don’t think that answers are easy – at least they never have come easily for me – and so I don’t give them easily. I was not a lot of help in this conversation, I’m pretty sure.
I mostly watched. And while part of my brain spun with the enormity of the problems we all face, another part just looked. Listened. Tried to find the clue.
I think that day I found it. I don’t know why, when I miss it so many other times.
As I sat across from her, the silver necklace she wore winked in the sunlight. I glanced at it, knowing already what it was – she wears it every day. But I saw, again, the word inscribed there – so tiny that you can’t see it unless you are close enough to it already.
The word she wears, on a thin silver chain around her neck, is hope.
And I thought of how like that word her necklace is. How tiny. How dear. How much I need it to blink in the sun, how much I need to keep it close.