“This is the spark,” she said.
The pretty little box in my hand is tempting and terrifying at the same time. I’ve been wandering around in the dusk so long I am afraid this thing may actually have power. If I set my world on fire who knows what will be forged and what will be lost forever?
“What do I feed it?” I asked.
She glowed, all unruly curls and dangly jewelry that jangles when she moves. “Fresh air and dreams, the more audacious the better. Write them down. Make a mantra out of them. Choose someone you trust to help you remember them when they seem so far away you’re not sure if they even exist anymore.”
She looked at my dusty running shoes in the corner. “Also, it wouldn’t hurt you to mix in a run now and then. And maybe lay off the wine a bit. The spark knows when you’re hiding, and you may yet need some endurance.”
I feel like I’ve been enduring for as long as I can remember, like it’s the one thing I know how to do. I can’t decide if I’m too old to believe in dreams. At this point I wonder whether to push for something more, or to take stock of all the things that went right and decide to be satisfied.
“What will happen then?” This is the big question I have wanted to answer forever.
“That is the inquiry, now isn’t it?” she says, maddeningly. “Now it’s time to live in the questions.”
It takes courage to tend the spark, and patience. Faith too, though as I assemble that list – courage patience faith – I am daunted. She didn’t offer me a stroke of insight or ease or magic. She didn’t open an obvious path before me.
For now, there is this: a pretty little box with a prayer inside, the questions, and me in the dusk.