I recently lost something dear to me. The loss didn’t come with a sudden absence; physical proximity remains unchanged. Instead, in an instant, years of ambiguity crystallized. As the only visitor in the group, I was afforded an outsider’s view and unwittingly, I glimpsed a monster. I recognized what it was immediately, even as it carried on, hiding in plain sight. In that momentary burst, I caught sight of the massive thing sulking in the shadows, feigning self righteous indignation and crying out, “Poor me!” It turns out the monster has been hiding there all along.
I’ve come to realize that blind loyalty to the hope of what could be is all that accounts for the sweetness I felt for so many years. But this possibility never materialized even in the shape of a small gesture from the other side, and so I must face the sadder realization that nothing has truly been lost. I’ve had to confess my own naivety at believing that it ever really was possible. At least for a short while, the loss of hope on this matter as a whole will burrow through the optimistic part of my heart like a tiny mole.
But I am an optimist and this too will pass. Thankfully, something can be learned from these things.
We Have No Heads, New Orleans by Molly Jarboe, 2011
(please imagine Bob Marley’s verson of “I Can See Clearly Now…” as a score to this post)