i saw something only i could see because of my astonishing ability to see such things

by sophie


when I found out last year that my ex-fiancee–a man I’m glad I left and would never consider returning to—had gotten engaged to another woman, i felt as if i could see a spot, a real tangible spot in the air that i’d never known was there, slowly be erased. it was just about the size of the eraser on the tip of a pencil, and it went, slowly like that, just a little rub out, and to brush away the curled bit of rubber — that was all. i never knew it was there at all before that moment, and then it was gone. was that relief ? something like it. we’re not friends, that ex and i, we don’t speak, though i don’t have hard feelings towards him. i guess i thought for awhile that he was the one chance i had to have some version of a typical life, stability, house, kids, marriage. the only someone who’d stick with me. but i don’t think that anymore — it was never really true. i was in my early twenties when i thought this was the case, and there’s so much more possible now, somehow, as i’ve gotten older. this simultaneous narrowing and expansion of possible roads. i think god is in what we don’t know about ourselves. the ability to constantly be surprised, even when we’re surprised at how awful we can be. only mystery enables us to live, said lorca. maybe that’s why we haven’t explored the sea nearly as much as we’ve explored space. we want to keep searching and understanding yet want the essence to remain unbelievably vast and beyond our comprehension. the miracle of falling for somebody new, how it’s different every time. how sunlight and a particular song makes one happy. god in the cold glass of water, god in the tiny body of the cat snoring beside me. what does it do – believing? it does nothing, really ! but it’s nice to be in love with small things, with a particular hour or cushion, with the manner in which a student asks a question. there’s nothing else but this, and look how much it is.