i've never really been of the belief that happiness is a choice.
there was that one summer i went around paying lip-service to it--to the belief. that one summer i wanted so desperately for it to be true that need eclipsed sense and i wore the phrase heavy around my neck.
i should clarify.
it's not that i don't think happiness a choice, it's that i think the choosing only goes so far.
it's part choice, part fight, part smidge of luck, some indeterminate amount of divinity, a hell-of-a-lot of hard work, part ritual, part mystery, part getting out of bed in the morning. and when all is said and done, you offer those things up. like a prayer, you offer them up. and then you wait. you wait to see if they're enough.
because the blue is big and the blue is deep.
and some days, some weeks, some indeterminate stretches of time, they're not .
and sadness swells and breathes like an out-of-tune accordion.
i watched it approach this go round. watched as it appeared on the lip of the horizon. watched as it slowly, steadily, hurtled toward me. and i got out of bed each morning, and i payed homage to the ritual and the mystery, and i had my morning coffee, but the sadness took hold.
that hauntingly familiar sadness filled and unfurled. settled in.
both hollowing and hallowing is that blue.
and in the space it created, i with flailing arms and pitiable grace, groped for meaning.
two days ago, on the train, i began to cry. while reading a short essay about a father's love for his son, i wept.
i wept not because i was sad but because the words were beautiful and simple and wholly solvent.
and in doing so, in weeping, there was a thought:
here i am.
here i am, the girl moved to tears by the love a father not even my own.
and the meaning--the reason for this stretch of time--while still unknown, is somewhere in there--there, in that moment.
that is what is known, the boundaries of this swath: the reading of an essay on a train. and the human response.
and for now that is solace enough. for now, that is the salve that will heal.