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Sometimes I don't have the words to say what I want. I think things deep down within my soul and I feel them and name them. I see all the words and letters and punctuation marks and I long to do them justice. I know that I'm capable and I want to give all the people proof of such. I am overwhelmed and nervous, but I start where I am sure of myself. I start by taking attendance.
Joy? Here.I ask for her again and again in tones like Bueller's principal.
Hope? And silence.
Hope? Silence.I imagine this is what it feels like when a parent loses their child among the racks of a store or the primary colored equipment of the park. There's a sureness in the panicked search -a sureness she is here, just tucked away out of sight.
Hope? The quiet is like an oreo filled with airy, nutrient-deficient filling.
When I started this process of writing a book about hope in October of last year, I thought it would just appear. I figured the story and necessary words were here, within my soul, and I simply needed to locate them. Sure He'd provide and She'd show up and my fingers would magically type out a novel balanced in equal parts heavy and humor, I had confidence. I thought I'd spew my life and heart and faith all over pages of a college-ruled notebook and we'd be somewhere by now.
But in those writing hours, as I sat and prepared and took attendance of all the feelings, she'd be missing. Maybe in depending on her so fiercely, I've scared her away. Maybe in the way writing flows in and out, she floated away on verbal tides. Maybe I'm wrong and hope isn't here in this heart of mine.
Words sit in my brain like loose beads on a table. They sit and wait for me to pick them up and put them together on a length of fishing line. Eventually, I string them together over and over again, edit and cut and paste and format, only to shake my head no a dozen times. I scribble them on paper, type them over my keyboard, draw them with my fingertip on the shower wall. They're there and then they're gone.
Sometimes I don't have the words to say what I want. I worry about what's right and what's wrong and forget life happens in a spectrum. I see all the letters and want to use every last one. I want a sentence that illustrates expert use of punctuation and grammar, a sentence that perfectly displays all the ways my soul feels.
But other times, just one word feels perfectly right: hope.