After all that has happened, after all of the changes tumbling one upon another, after breathing again new air, after ceding fear to hope when I sit down to write it all I have at the end is a small glass of snow in the middle of July.
He says he cannot believe in angels because he has never seen one. I do not believe in his sort of angels, but not for lack of visual confirmation, rather that I live in a world that now is so deeply in need, that an angel might be our last, best hope, but the scope of angelic miracles is not likely wide enough to encompass the utter disaster which we have created.
I tell him that I do believe in angels, that I have met several in my life, and scowl when he laughs so that he must consider that I am serious, and then he asks what an angel looks like, so he will recognize one when and if he ever sees one.
I advise him that you don’t have to search all that hard, that you merely need to be aware, and watch the face of the baby when you stop and coo at him or her as they lie in their stroller, staring up at the always welcoming sky.
There was a time that now seems so very long ago, when I would freely admit, sometimes claim to be American, if not acknowledging my time in the Air Force as well.
Those days are gone, as is the place I knew, now morphed into somewhere much the same, and entirely unrecognizable, and I am American by proximity, knowing my welcome has been worn out for me elsewhere.
It need not, ought not, have been this way, political seas have long ebbed and flowed, but I, we, knew we could remain afloat on our constitutional raft, built to ride out whatever storms might blow our way.
We know, or have an abiding hope that this, that he and his band of marauders, will pass into history, a dark cloud finally pushed aside, but despite the shortness of his tenure, I can only nervously wonder what will remain.
The woman at the next table stares at her fork with eyes which appear bottomless pools of sorrow. She picks at the noodles, raises and lowers the glass of wine without sipping. She is lost within herself and even the waiter approaches with trepidation for fear of falling in and drowning in her sadness. In her eyes are pools of cabernet spilled from glasses cast aside by retreating lovers, the blood of a mother who died in her birth, tears of a father hopelessly alone. You see him returning to the table and a smile of faint hope crosses her lips, lingers a moment and is drawn into her eyes. She watches him finish his wine and with a nod of his head, hers, and she sinks back deep within herself.
First appeared in Erothanatos, Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2019 at Pg. 41
Hope lies, she says, somewhere between anticipation and boredom, and in the daily muck and mire so few want to look closely enough to discover its presence, though it promises deeply desired rewards. He says he prefers faith, for it requires less work, just state the desired outcome and believe, as deeply as you can, that it will result in due course. She says that the differences between them are too great, and the time has come to split from each other, and she has faith he will handle the split well. He is shocked and says that he only hopes that she will come to her senses and stay.
Faith, or is it hope, seems directly proportional to the need we have to believe in what some would call a miracle. In Hebrew the word for charity can also be translated justice. Faith, he says, is hope with a Godly intervention for hopes can easily go unfulfilled, but faith lingers, and isn’t given up willingly, for even when hope is gone, faith in a miracle remains for those most in need. No one seeks charity, everyone seeks justice, and most hope and have faith that there is in the final analysis no real distinction.
It wasn’t so much that it slipped away this morning, I’ve come to expect that, and I know there is absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. It wasn’t even that I couldn’t recall what it was precisely that was gone, for that is the nature of departure and longing. It was more that I now cannot determine what it was the replaced it, and my mind is supposed to be engaged in a net zero sum memory game, for that is what gives me hope for tomorrow.