Jan 7, 2010

on drilling.

I complain about the "bad days" when the car doesn't start, the alarm doesn't go off, the hair straightener burns my hand, my favorite jeans don't fit.

You know...
those trivial moments of devastation that alter my demeanor, mood and behavior until I feel through anger, frustration [and occasionally road rage] that I've rid my system of the unfairness that fell upon me.

And then, there are "bad days" in our lives when circumstance or decisions force us to tap into our inner resources. Resources running beneath the surface. Wells we don't know exist until we're forced to drill in times of crisis.

We are mining for survival. Looking internally for whatever we can muster to deal with the external.


And the scalding hair straightener and the ill-fitting jeans are put into perspective. On this "bad day" we are justified in anger, in frustration, in running everyone off the road.

In the face of crisis she* isn't any of those things.
[*a remarkable friend]

She's hopeful.
She's tender-hearted.
She's forgiving.
She's kind.
She's devastated.
She's strong.
She's enduring.

We walked carelessly together through the streets of Rome talking each night. These evening jaunts, taken to balance our gelato consumption, gave way to hours of chatting.

About the smokers in Italy, the card game we just finished, the pizza we wanted, and sometimes our future lives. We loved it there amid ancient history and modern industry, cobblestone streets and cutting edge fashion. One day we'd return to this eternal city with someone we loved - whoever it would be- someone we could hold hands with. Sure, we found good company with each other - but we hoped for something more than friendships in our futures.

Hoped for good things to come.
Hoped for love.
Hoped for happiness.
Hope in an amethyst she loyally wore on her ring finger for 24 long months.

Hope realized when the purple stone was traded for a diamond.

Then the drilling began.
Challenges. An exploration of depth. She struck gold - seemingly endless stores of kindness, forgiveness, charity, love, patience and dedication. And when those resources were exhausted, she drilled again.

Drilling when loneliness encroached.
Drilling when disappointment took residence.
Drilling when future dreams were replaced with present nightmares.

She deserved every happiness in the world.
A karma cash-out.

Now she's making her own.
She's rebuilding without a purple stone. Without a diamond. Without everything that came with it.
With a fresh start. A new camera. A few pairs of shoes. And more hope.

In this moment of crisis she's unearthed depth and resources- through personal discovery and providence.
And I admire from afar, not walking with her on this road.

I just hope that if and when I have to drill, I'll find half of what she did.

[written with permission from aforementioned remarkable friend]


Ashley said...

Amazing post. So beautifully and descriptively put.

Liz said...

Geez, Noelle, that was fantastic. What a gift for words you have.

Alisha Stamper | Photographer said...

so very well written.

Sara said...

I loved this post. You are such a great writer.

Anonymous said...

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