We used to work together, Hope and I. I’d be lamenting some failed proposal, while she’d be dreaming of the next one.
When I hit a creative wall, she’d float by my desk and with the quietest suggestion unlock the gate to wide open spaces beyond. I’m ashamed to say that most of the time I didn’t notice her. She was never overbearing, preferring to lift my thoughts of sadness with the lightness of her own. I’d gaze at the latest lauded work of others and sigh with inadequacy. Then I’d catch her out of the corner of my eye smiling as she thumbed through my portfolio. Now there are but traces of her left scattered around the office. Projects we started but have not finished. Friends we knew and laughed with. Places we’d seen together. She was what set me apart from the others without her.
I wonder what happened to Hope? Why did she leave me?
I turned on the radio tonight while going to Wal-Mart and heard her voice again. She was with someone else…sharing the life she had once given me. I pulled into the nearest spot and listened. Yes, it was her. Coming through the voices, the stories and the music. First, she whispered to the doubter on the evening call in show, then she comforted the old country singer who had lost a child. As I turned down the dial, there she was again helping an elderly lady with her heavy groceries nearby.
Now I remember why she left. I had filled her place with junk…worries about deadlines and profit and pride. Or maybe I left her. I followed the voices in my head that wanted to drag me into the pit. I became distracted by what was happening around me. How human. I cleared these things away and to make room for her again. Sweet and kind, her notes seeped into my soul.
I’m looking forward to the ride home.