Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving. –Terry Pratchett
I have one of those Word A Day calendars on my desk. Most days I look forward to peeling off the previous day’s word to reveal what I hope will be something unknown and inspiring. Most days I am disappointed. Still, I often find enough to keep me pulling away the days, plowing through the year one badly glued page at a time.
Some days the word is one that I want to sit with for a while. Like this one.
I am, generally, one of those people who looks through the optimist’s lens, painting on silver linings, filling glasses till they’re half full. I smile. I recall a colleague who noted once that my smiles hid a lot of pain. I can’t say that she was wrong, but the smiles are generally genuine. I am, more often than not, a plain old Pollyanna.
Lately, though, I’ve been angry. That’s not quite the sort of attitude I like to cultivate. It makes me too–well, everything. Too sad. Too tired. Too quick to answer. Too too too hard on myself and everyone around me. The worst of it is that the things making me angry are the things making others hurt. Sudden, senseless death. Medical challenges. Chronic illness. Untreated depression. I cannot make any of these things better. All that I can do is put on a smile and pray and be there to support, to listen, to suggest. Most of the time, that feels like enough. Lately, though, it’s felt damn near impossible to keep a lid on it, to keep from screaming about everything and anything that gets even close to breaking my skin.
I will get back there, back to that piece of me that smiles and means it, the me who can find the glimmer in the inkiest of nights. My son helps, his little hugs and I love you’s reminding me that the world is full of love and opportunities to give love if you’re open to it. I know that when I do get back to her she’ll be a bit different: wiser, older, a bit more sympathetic to the difficulties of getting through the darkness. For now, though, I’ll just wait it out, hoping for a thread of light to float down soon.
That’s something, right?